Karen Zielke Mike Zielke state Florida reports pandemic donates Karen Zielke Mike Zielke state Florida

Florida Foodie: Grassroots effort to get food to people in need during the pandemic


CHULUOTA, Fla. – A news report on farms losing business because of the pandemic inspired Karen and Mike Zielke to get out and start helping their community. “My husband said ‘we should take our trailer and go buy up a bunch of vegetables and just come back on this side of town and hand ‘em out,’” Karen Zielke said. “And I thought, ‘well, that’s pretty crazy.’” Despite that, the Zielkes moved forward with the plan to start the Chuluota Free Vegetable Distribution.

Karen took the lead on logistics as her husband’s job as a pilot often keeps him out of the area. With no real experience in food distribution, the pair were winging it, buying up produce from Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora and asking their local VFW Post to host their

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