ORLANDO, Fla. – For families across Florida, having the means to put food on the table is a big concern. Thousands live paycheck-to-paycheck and depend on food pantries, but with the growing effects of COVID-19, the demand for these resources is becoming greater.
Stephanie Bowman, founder of One Heart for Women and Children is doing her part --but since the coronavirus outbreak, it's becoming more of a challenge to keep up with food donations.
"My biggest fear is that we're gonna run out of food and have to turn people away with no food," Bowman said. "And in the 11 years we've been open, we've never, never run out of food."
Bowman said since the COVID-19 outbreak it’s becoming more of a challenge to keep up with food donations.
“We are in a very big transition right now. The families that are coming in are families that we would not normally see in community food pantries,” she said. “We’ve seen three times the amount of families, just in the last three days we saw over 900 people.”
Bowman, who was once homeless, said the nonprofit organization serves more than 3,000 people a month and expects that number to keep rising.
In order to keep the community safe, the pantry changed the way bags of food are distributed.
“We will sign them in, we will bring the food to them, they will not be getting out of their cars so there’s no physical tough, there’s no interaction,” Bowman said.
"Thank God their doors are open to all of us. Never know where I will be one day, in the position that I'm at but I can help others," Sheila Mccurdy said.
She stopped by to pick up food for an aunt and uncle who are in the at-risk age group.
But if there's a food shortage, the pantry might have to close. Stephanie says the organization's biggest need right now is financial contributions. One Heart for Women and Children is able to buy food from corporations they've partnered with at a shared cost.
“We really need the community’s help so that we can continue to do,” Bowman said. “Every single dollar counts. For every dollar, we can provide five meals.”
A GoFundMe page was set up by the organization.
To make a GoFundMe donation, click here.
One Heart for Women and Children also has a website where you can donate.