The Harry Chapin Food Bank, Publix and LeeTran set a new record by collecting 166,399 pounds of food in Lee County during the fifth annual "Fill Our Fleet to Feed the Hungry" food drive Sunday, Sept. 15. LeeTran's 140 volunteers helped load buses at 34 Publix stores, while more than 100 volunteers helped unload the buses at the Harry Chapin Food Bank warehouse. The goal had been to collect 100,000 pounds of food, topping last year's collection of 76,000 pounds.
The food will be sorted, organized, and distributed free of charge to the food bank's 150 partner agencies in Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte and Collier counties.
The food drive also netted $2,510.16 in cash donations, which will enable the food bank to distribute more than $15,000 of additional food to families.
Volunteers included members of 4H Clubs, Girl Scout Troops, the Greater Fort Myers Kiwanis, Young's Electrical, Edison State College nursing students, Rob's Crew, Estero Key Club, the FGCU women's basketball team, Soul Food Ministries and Southwest Airlines. Thank you to the News-Press Media Group for its sponsorship and Beasley Broadcasting radio stations (96 K-Rock, Sunny 106.3, B103.9, ESPN 99.3 and The Link 96.5) for promoting the event prior to Sunday and being on location at Publix stores during the food drive.
Thanks to LeeTran's Joann Haley, Steve Myers, staff and volunteers, Publix staff and customers, and our generous community for making this year's "Fill Our Fleet to Feed the Hungry" such an overwhelming success.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families and others in need through a network of 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. More than 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly. For each donated dollar, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and grocery items. In 2012-2013, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 16.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $27 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 13.8 million meals to people in need.
For additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 239-334-7007 or go to harrychapinfoodbank.org.