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Free food at Brutus on Saturday

By. Sara Matthis - April 3, 2020 from

Islamorada Mayor Mike Forster and owner of Mangrove Mikes has provided a hot lunch for 5,000 people since March 20. So far, the drive-through spots have been in the Upper Keys but that changes on Saturday, April 4, when he’ll do it in Marathon with the help of two local restaurants — Brutus Seafood and Sweet Savannahs.

Hot lunches will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Brutus Seafood at 6950 Overseas Highway. People can drive through or walk up, so long as they maintain proper physical distances. All meals will be bagged and ready to go. The hot meals include a protein, starch, vegetable, salad and a sweet treat from Sweet Savannah’s.

“I started the day after the governor closed all restaurant dine-in services,” Forster said. Forster’s nonprofit — Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors Paying Forward — is leading the feeding effort in the Keys and expanding into as many spots as possible. 

“Elise Mucha of Brutus Seafood and Kate Koler of Sweet Savannah’s reached out and asked if they could participate,” Forster said. “I said yes. It’s a great collaboration.”

Recently, Forster was gifted with 10,000 pounds of “protein” that was delivered to the Keys on a refrigerated truck. The meat was a donation from one of Forster’s friends who works with the cruise industry, supplying its food. Now, he’s paying it forward.

He took a week’s supply of meat to KAIR in Marathon, as well as provided about 300 pounds to Lisa Melitti on Big Pine Key who is feeding locals, as well as the VFW who is about to start. 

Donations are appreciated.

To support the cause, drop off a check to any First State Bank location in the name of Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors Paying Forward or to Mangrove Mike’s Cafe located at 82200 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada between 9 a.m. to noon. Donations are also accepted over the phone, by calling 305-664-8022. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 1459, Islamorada, Florida 33036. To donate online, visit

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