March 21, 2012 at 2:13 AM EST - Updated June 26 at 6:36 PM
INDIANTOWN, FL (WFLX) - The clothes are being put on the racks, and the food is starting to fill the shelves of the pantry. Tuesday, the newest branch of the House of Hope opened its doors in Indiantown.
"House of Hope is an organization that feeds people who are hungry, provides clothing for people who need clothing and in some instances financial assistance, as well," said House of Hope's Kelly McIntyre.
Last year, 179 tons of food were distributed, the equivalent of 280,000 meals. Branch manager Malherbe Fremont shows off the full freezers and what they symbolize. "I can feel it when you are a parent and have kids and they open the fridge and there's nothing in the fridge and then you hear your kids say there's nothing in the frig," said Fremont.
Space in the back will allow case managers to meet with clients and provide them with referrals or help them fill out applications for assistance. "What we're seeing is peoples circumstances with the economy and job loss are going on much longer and we need to help them for a longer period of time," said McIntyre.
While no one is charged for food items, it's the items in the thrift store that generate about one-third of the agency's income. Sylvia Cavan brought granddaughter Jalen in, and bought her a book. "Because you can get good items and a good price," said Cavan.
The House of Hope will welcome the community with an open house and cookout on Friday afternoon. It needs volunteers to help with the thrift store and the pantries at any of their four Martin County locations. If you'd like to find out more, click here ( http://www.hohmartin.org/ )