How to Support Your Community During the Coronavirus Crisis

Here are some ways to help your neighbors in a time of need

Photos courtesy of Feeding South Florida

For all our recent growth, Naples remains a small, close-knit community. The current crisis has shuttered restaurants and thrown hospitality employees out of work, along with many others who were living paycheck to paycheck. Here are some ways for concerned citizens to help:

Purchase Food for Takeout and Delivery

A handful of restaurants are temporarily closed altogether, but the majority are offering curbside pickup and/or delivery (either through an online app such as GrubHub or DoorDash, or using their own employees). While no one expects takeout or delivery to completely make up the shortfall cause by an empty dining room, it can be a lifesaver for some of your favorite restaurants. If you dine out frequently, please continue to patronize your local eateries to the greatest possible extent—for some, it could make the difference in whether or not they reopen when the crisis is over.

Gift Cards

Most restaurants sell them online, and they can be part of a solution to help with cash flow during this period. If you’re in a position to buy gift cards to your favorite restaurants, it’s a win/win for everyone: it gives the business some sorely needed income in the short term, and provides credits that you can redeem later on when the dining room is open.

Many restaurants have announced that they are donating part or all of the revenue from their gift cards to help their employees. Your purchase may allow an unemployed hospitality worker to pay rent, buy medicine or feed their family.

Support Local Pantries and Food Banks

Along with hospitality workers, this crisis is affecting some of the neediest in our community. Here’s a list of some local food banks that always need donations and volunteer manpower:

Catholic Charities of Collier County: (239) 793-0059;

Food Angels: (239) 298-9506;

Grace Place for Children & Families Friday Food Pantry: (239) 234-2400

Harry Chapin Food Bank: (239) 334-7007;

Meals of Hope: (239) 537-7775;

Naples Senior Center Food Pantry: (239) 325-4444;

Renew Food Pantry: (239) 774-1802

Salvation Army: (239) 210-4009;

St. Matthews House: (239) 774-0500;

St. Vincent de Paul Society: (239) 775-1667;

The International Ministry God is Love (MIDA): (239) 465-6200;

Tree of Life: (239) 530-2200

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