Florida food pantry serves hot meals and disaster relief after Hurricane Ian – Fox Weather

Gladiolus Food Pantry is serving hot meals and providing disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida.
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Posted by a roadside in Fort Myers are white tents, tables and helping hands.
Gladiolus Food Pantry founder Miriam Ortiz and her team have been providing food, water and other disaster relief efforts to Floridians hit hard by Ian.
"The main thing that people really want right now is a hot plate," said Ortiz during an interview with FOX Weather multimedia journalist Brandy Campbell.
Gladiolus Food Pantry has served meals to more than 600 people in three days, according to Cruz. Many people in need have walked to the pantry, which has also given out water bottles, fresh produce and pet food.
A destroyed beach front home that was carried across the street by the storm surge. Scenes of flooding and storm damage after Hurricane Ian ravaged Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
(Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post / Getty Images)
The pantry has experienced its own hurdles while providing assistance. The group's only van, which they used to pick up food, was lost in the storm. Their building was flooded with about 2 ½ feet of water, which destroyed much of the food they had stored.
"It's so sad because we were so proud of our food pantry that we had always clean and nice, and you come here, you see all the mud, you see everything – it just breaks my heart," said Ortiz.
Despite these setbacks, Ortiz remains hopeful, as volunteers from Tennessee, Wisconsin and other parts of the country have come to help.
FOX Weather multimedia journalist Mitti Hicks explains how volunteers from across the country are flocking to Florida to help those who have been impacted by Hurricane Ian’s devastating effects.
"I was ready to throw the towel, but we've been having so much people coming and helping us out that I'm going to keep on going," she said.
Those wanting to help can make donations either on the Gladiolus Food Pantry website or at the food pantry building. Ortiz said they are in most need of items such as can openers, ice, utensils, toilet paper and paper towels.
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