Thousands of meals handed out at The Salvation Army's North Port campus despite damages from Hurricane Ian – FOX 13 Tampa

Kimberly Kuizon reports
Since Hurricane Ian passed through Florida, 525,000 meals and snacks have been handed out through The Salvation Army. They've worked to help more than 12,000 people with emotional and spiritual care. 
Without a roof over their food pantry, missing doors and windows blown out The Salvation Army's North Port campus is still working to help others.
"This is something we weren’t able to avoid either, and we got impacted by the storm just as hundreds and thousands of residents were too," said Lt. Sebastian Arroqui with the Salvation Army.
READ: North Port schools prepare to reopen after Hurricane Ian
It could be easy to give up, but The Salvation Army isn't letting that happen.
"This shield that’s on this building is something that represents hope for many people that may not have hope and that’s the message and the hope that we have is I can be here to provide hope for someone that may not have that hope and all our volunteers are the same way," Arroqui said. 
The building in North Port acts as a beacon for helping the community. From food to financial assistance, now they will need their own help to rebuild and reopen.
"There are plans for that to be able to rebuild, and it’ll be reassessed to see what is the best way we can support this community, and it’s the perfect opportunity and that’s the way that we look at it," said Arroqui.
MORE: Most of Hurricane Ian's 100-plus victims in Florida died by drowning, data shows
While it remains quiet at their North Port location, the sound of workers and volunteers hasn't stopped. They've now gone mobile.
A team from Georgia is assisting, and they are cooking and handing out meals and supplies at various locations around the city.
"You see people who are not only looking out for them, but they’re looking out for their neighbors, they’re looking out for the people who are helping them fix their houses," said Chelsea Carter with The Salvation Army.
Just like the words printed on their truck, "Hope is On the Way." With or without a standing building, their mission continues.
"Nobody is alone in this," said Carter.
PREVIOUS: Road repairs underway in North Port after Hurricane Ian floodwaters cause damage
Those who need help through The Salvation Army's food pantry or financial assistance can receive services at the Venice Center at 1051 Albee Farm Road, Venice. For information on where the Salvation Army will hand out food in North Port, visit The Salvation Army Sarasota's Facebook page
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