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Updated: 04/27/2014 08:00:01AM

Hungry for solutions

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Shannon Rowland, Woodland Middle School ESE liaison, forground, and School Registrar Leona Phillips, help add food to shelves in the school's new food pantry, which opened to about 20 families Thursday. Items include canned fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as snacks, beverages, frozen meets, salads and condiments.

“You can't blame a 6-year-old kid because he or she is hungry.” — Keith Monda, board member of the national nonprofit Feeding America and All Faiths Food Bank

“To give you an idea of need ... we should be distributing roughly 30 million pounds of food, and we're at 17 and a half million.” — Miriam Pereira, director of development for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida

"There is no better investment that you make in your community (than) when you invest in feeding children and everyone else.” — Veronica Brady, Gulf Coast Community Foundation enior vice president for philanthropy

“Unless the people are educated as to the cause and effect of the type of hunger and food insecurity that we’re talking about, there is going to constantly be a disconnect.” — Jon Thaxton, Gulf Coast Community Foundation director of community investments

“There’s been a lot of job loss. And it speaks directly to the economic situation of these families.” — Gordon “Mac” Martin, DeSoto businessman and board member of All Faiths Food Bank

“What we have to do is get mad, and we have to say, ‘This is our line in the sand. This will not and cannot happen.” — Carrie Blackwell Hussey, executive director of United Way of Charlotte County

"Sometimes you have to change people's mental state and educate them on the issue." — Kathleen Floyd, community activist

Carrie Hussey

Kathleen Floyd

Keith Monda

Veronica Brady

Mariam Pereira

Jon Thaxton


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It’s difficult to imagine a child in America today going to bed hungry or not knowing where his next meal will come from.

But that’s exactly what’s happening all across Southwest Florida.

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