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Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel School students partner to donate food to Fort Myers schoolkids

By Staff | Jun 9, 2009

Bailey’s General Store and the students of The Sanibel School partnered to donate nearly 400 bags of food to Fort Myers schoolchildren who may not have enough to eat during summer break.

The Sanibel School media specialist Arlene Dillon decided to get her students involved after reading about the challenges of getting food to schoolchildren during the summer months.

“I asked the students in my TV production class how we could help and they suggested we hold a food drive for the schoolchildren,” Dillon said. “Principal Barbara Von Harten agreed and together we choose to help Franklin Park Magnet School in downtown Fort Myers.”

About 94 percent of students at Franklin Park receive free or reduced lunches, but the last day of school in Lee County is Wednesday. Many of those students do not know where their meals will come from during the summer months.

Bailey’s General Store general manager Richard Johnson heard about the collection drive from one of the parents and immediately offered to help.

“I told Ms. Dillon that Bailey’s would not only contribute, but would provide space in the store for donations to be collected,” said Johnson.

The Sanibel School students collected food from customers at Bailey’s over the weekend. For each voucher purchased, Bailey’s supplied one bag of food – enough to feed a family of four for several days.

“The response from the Sanibel community was overwhelming,” Dillon added. “Our students sold almost 300 vouchers and collected more than 80 bags of donated food items.”

On Tuesday, several Bailey’s employees and the parents of The Sanibel School students packed nearly 400 bags of food into their vehicles and delivered the food to Franklin Park Magnet School. Students also had the opportunity to take a bag of food home with them on the last day of school.