Donations collected since Hurricane Ian swept past Key West in late September, flooding hundreds of homes, were used last week to provide Thanksgiving dinners to 200 local families.

Conch Love provides 200 Thanksgiving dinners for Key West families, many of whom were flooded during Hurricane Ian. PAUL MENTA/Contributed

Conch Love nonprofit partners Paul Menta, of Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery, and Pastor Jonathan Carey, at Glad Tidings Tabernacle, joined forces to provide the dinners that would serve eight people with enough for leftovers, Menta said.

Boxes were distributed on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Bahama Village Masons Lodge and St. James First Missionary Baptist Church.

A GoFundMe fundraiser garnered more than $20,000 in donations to help Key West families who endured floods and a large fire on Flagler Avenue during Hurricane Ian.

Conch Love is currently seeking referrals of families who need help with food for the Christmas holiday meal. Visit conchlove.org to make referrals.  

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.