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Neighbors bring a little light to a community left in the dark after tornado

Many people are left without power, food, or water, but they're giving each other a little bit of hope.

KATHLEEN, Fla. — An EF-2 tornado left extensive damage throughout the Kathleen community Friday night. 

Many people are left without power, food, or water, but they're giving each other a little bit of hope.

"There's people out there that's hurting, so we knew that time is of the essence because they're tying to clean up and regroup. They needed hot food today, so that's why were going just getting them some relief," Ed Kirkland said.

Kirkland and his wife Anita own Harvest Meat Market in Kathleen. When they saw the damage done, they immediately wanted to step up. 

"We've been putting together a lot of meals today," Kirkland said.

All-day Sunday they took the time to prepare more than 500 meals for those in the middle of all the wreckage.

"People don't realize what it must be like to not have any electricity, no running water, and they have kids! Any way we can help we'll do. I thank God every day," Diane White said.

White is their store manager. She volunteered to take the meals out to the hardest-hit neighborhoods. 

"It's the worst. There's no water, you can't take a shower, you're losing your food every day," Maria Burlingame said. 

Burlingame is the manager of Chapman's Mobile Home Park. She and her husband are trying to take care of residents after they were left in the dark. The tornado took down the power lines in the neighborhood.

"I know this meal probably costs 7 or 10 bucks a pop, so it means a lot that shes spending her time and her effort to help people out that need help. It means a lot," Ronald Burlingame said.

Grateful is an understatement. The hot meals neighbors received are feeding their souls.

"Out of disasters like these good things come, but it shouldn't take disasters. It shouldn't take people having to suffer for people to come together and support one another," said Burlingame.

The owners of Harvest Meat Market said they'll continue to make meals and help the community for as long as they need it.

RELATED: Inside Polk County middle school damaged by tornado

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RELATED: Here's what you need to know about tornadoes in Florida

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