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U.S. News

Florida: Blaze Devours Appetite for Life Kitchen

August 19, 2011

A fire that broke out about 4 a.m. Thursday destroyed the kitchen and pantry of Appetite for Life at 402 W. Cervantes St. in Pensacola. The blaze consumed thousands of dollars worth of food meant to feed the nonprofit's 1,300 clients -- many of whom have HIV/AIDS or other serious illnesses -- as well as hundreds of kids in a summer food program. David E. Allen, Pensacola fire marshal, estimated the damage at $50,000.


"We're doing everything we can to give our clients a well-balanced and nutritious meal because many of them have health issues, are aging or disabled, but we need to get them something so they don't go hungry," said Marcus Ditty, operations manager.

Volunteers made their scheduled Thursday morning community center rounds, delivering pre-made meals that had been stored in a refrigerated trailer undamaged by the fire. Appetite's individual clients receive two to three days worth of food on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Area churches, restaurants and individuals were quick to lend their help. MySpayce banquet hall offered the use of its kitchen and walk-in cooler, and Apple Market offered to provide delivery dinners. Appetite was able to collect about $3,000 in private donations to buy food for its Friday deliveries; these meals are being prepared at Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and Temple Beth-El.

"I'm always shocked by the huge amount of support Pensacola gives us," said Celeste Southard, executive director. For more information, visit

Back to other news for August 2011

Adapted from:
Pensacola News Journal
08.19.2011; Katie McFarland

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More News and Articles on HIV Groups and Medical Care in Florida

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