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Summer turns up the heat on those in need
June 23, 2017

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The beaches are less crowded, the bays perfect for boating and Sun Splash is open in the Cape.

Summertime is a wonderful time in Southwest Florida - for most of us.

But for too many of our neighbors, our off-season, service-based economy means a time of struggle, a struggle to put food on the table with work hours down and electric bills up, all the while trying to save money for the clothes and supplies that will be needed for the school year coming up.

Fortunately, a number of community organizations step forward this time of the year to make sure kids don't go hungry and have what they need when it's time to go back to class.

Among them are the Lee County School District, which is again taking part in the ULDA's free Summer Food Service Program, and the Cape Coral Caring Center, which has started its SOS Save Our Summer, Feed the Cape food drive.

The Summer Food Service Program offers breakfast or lunch, sometimes both, at locations throughout Lee for youths 18 and younger. The program is not income-based, does not require registration, and is available at multiple locations in the Cape, including Christa McAuliffe, Patriot, Pelican, Skyline and Trafalgar elementary schools; both Grace Community Schools; Ida S. Baker, Island Coast, Mariner and Oasis high schools; One Hope Church of God; Trinity Lutheran Church and the William "Bill" Austen Youth Center.

Visit: summerfoodflorida.org or leeschools.net for specifics, including meal times, or call 239-461-8449.

The Caring Center's SOS campaign is a basic food drive: The center is collecting non-perishable foods and cash donations to "feed the Cape."

In addition to the center itself, there are collection boxes throughout Cape Coral including Raso Realty, Premier Insurance, Cape Cleaners, IBERIABANK and Preferred Community Bank, both on Del Prado Boulevard, as well as The Breeze office at 2510 Del Prado.

Yes, we believe this is a critical drive as the Cape's food pantry shelves dwindle significantly during the summer.

Meanwhile, Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. is looking for help to make sure the three dozen of so children currently living in its Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault shelters have school supplies and clothes. ACT is seeking Kohl's, Walmart, Target, Bealls, Kmart or similar gift cards so they can take the children shopping. To donate or to "adopt" a child in need, call 239-939-3112.

Summer is not the off-season for our neighbors in need. It is, in fact, a season where too many go without. If you can help, now would be a good time.

- Breeze editorial

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