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20 OCT

PB&J Deliveries

PB&J Deliveries

Saturday October 8 – Delivery 1

On Saturday, October 8, we delivered 1926 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the West Coast of Florida. We knew it was bad but things were in more dire straits than we imagined.

We made 3 stops in total. The first stop was the Gladiolus Pantry in Fort Myers. The line to turn in with signs  of free food were plastered on the streets. It was organized bedlam at the outdoor pantry. I talked to the administrator there and she told me that they need everything and our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would be distributed that day. There was an overwhelming amount of goods that had been dropped off and our four coolers filled with sandwiches felt small but each sandwich was going to someone as a meal and that made make us remember how important this was.

The recipients who will receive the sandwiches here are locals. Lots of people there not only have damage to their home but they have lost their jobs as many work in the island hotels and have no income. They thanked us profusely and we all felt bad about that because they were the ones in such need.

On the way to stop #2, we saw tons of more free food signs, signs for roof tarps, and tree trimming. These were all over the place. Palm trees snapped in half, powerlines down, electrical cords hanging, garbage everywhere, and a semi 16 wheeler turned over are images I’ll never forget.

The second delivery we made was to to Crosspoint Church ⛪️ in Cape Coral. When we drove up, the church had donated land which was being used with little tents that FEMA workers were using. The administrator of the church said they were spending a lot of their days cleaning out houses and getting rid of carpeting and other wet materials before the mold came in. The food here would be distributed to FEMA workers, linesmen, and just ordinary people.

The last stop we did was on Pine Island. We passed Historic Matlacha, a darling little town that was just complete devastation as the eye of the storm and 150 mile an hour winds went over it.

Island Conclave Gallery was were the relief center was set up on Pine Island. Lots of volunteers including the Cajun Navy were there. The sandwiches here would go to a lot of essential workers of lineman. By chance, the lady said Jeff Lichtenstein do you recognize me it’s Gaby Hall. Gabby was a short sale specialist who I used maybe 50 times in the Big Short market between 2009 and 2014. She was incredible as a liaison in dealing with the banks to get deals accepted. We had never met and this was just a crazy coincidence. You need a pass to get on The Island as there is little police, two hours of running water, no electricity, and the potential of looting.  We took two remaining coolers filled with sandwiches and went to the Island itself. There were practically trees on every home and all the electrical powerlines fell like dominoes. We witness more than one family who must’ve just arrived on the island in tears seeing the damage to their homes. We gave our remaining peanut butter sandwiches to organized labor union volunteers. People came from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Hialeah Florida.

Everyone we met was incredibly grateful and appreciative and each sandwich given out is a “precious” meal. Seeing is believing as the day and the damage and the amount of private support needed was overwhelming. Some places within Fort Myers have power and people dining at restaurants. Newer construction did better. However, the devastation, especially close to the islands, and the amount of job losses creating no income is a huge deal. This is not going to be a 2 to 3 week cleanup. There will be the need for lots of private help for a long time. For everyone who made a sandwich or dropped off peanut butter, jelly, Ziploc bags and wonder bread. THANK YOU Jeff Lichtenstein, and your friends at Echo Fine Properties (We have a lot of pictures and video footage – some of these images are distressing but we feel it is important for us to understand the true extent of the devastation that has been experienced by our friends and neighbors in the west. You can view our full gallery of pictures and videos, here.)


2nd Drop Off – October 12th

See More Photos and Video from our second drop off. 

3rd Drop Off – October 16th

See More Photos and Video from our third drop off. A note from Patti Finnegan on the 3rd PB&J Drop:

My son decided he wanted to help in some way, so he hopped in the driver seat and drove with me while I worked on the laptop during the ride. It was nice having quality time with him too.

Once we arrived at New Hope Church in Ft. Meyers, we began to unload the truck.  A silver car slows down and I wave the car in.  It was a woman who had heard from a friend of a friend (from Facebook) that sandwiches were being handed out at the church.  We began talking, and she shared this heartwarming story with me.  She was living in Montana and when Covid hit, she sadly lost everything including her home.  She decided to relocate and move back to FL to assist with caring for her ill Father.  She was beginning to get back on her feet, and Hurricane Ian hit.

She began to cry (I just hugged her so tight).  She was SO THANKFUL for the sandwiches. She has been trying to work double shifts, and concerned with her Father.  She was relieved knowing her Father would have a meal and she wouldn’t have to worry.  They lost most of  their belongings and she says she’s taking it hour by hour in hopes of getting to day by day.   She couldn’t thank us enough for being there.  It truly warmed my heart.

Definitely a memorable Sunday for sure.

4th Drop off – October 17th

Update – October 29th

PB&J Update. 

There is still plenty of need for help on the West Coast.  FEMA is overwhelmed and our high-protein meals are being received with as many as we can give. Lots of people are dealing with getting contractors, items from FEMA, and loss of income due to devastation of the Resorts and other areas on the Islands. Lots of attention has moved on to the next big news story and Hurricane Ian fatigue has taken place.  So, our neighbors still need us!

We are now over 16,000 sandwiches made and delivered. In the coming weeks, we have “PB&J JAM’s” scheduled for PGA National (at the PGA National Park by Preston) next Saturday, November 5th from 11-2pm. Bring a loaf of Wonderbread, Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly, Ziploc Bags and smiles.  Other locations in the coming weeks, are Artistry at Alton, Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida Club in Stuart, Abacoa, Jupiter Seaside Communities, Westlake, Evergrene, Singer Island Condos, and Tequesta Oaks.  More are in the works.  If you would like to help organize a PB&J JAM or want to join one and see what other organizations and communities have done go to…


Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2022 at 11:08 am.


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