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Food drive’s official kickoff is Thursday

By Staff | Jul 6, 2017

An upcoming event will help raise food and monetary donations for the Cape Coral Caring Center.

Last month, the center announced the start of its annual SOS Save Our Summer, Feed the Cape campaign. On Thursday, the official kickoff for the effort will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Dixie Roadhouse, along with the fourth annual SOS Save Our Summer, Feed the Cape Smack Down.

Open to the public, admission is a minimum donation of $5 in food or cash.

Julie Ferguson, the center’s executive director, explained that the campaign aims to bring in additional donations for residents who find themselves in more of a financial bind during the summer months.

“The majority of our clients work in the service industry,” she said. “The idea is that summer is difficult in Southwest Florida because people have their hours cut – sometimes their expenses go up and often their income goes down because of tourist season having ended.”

At the kickoff, about a dozen local groups will be vying for the titles of Smack Down champions by collecting the most donations, like the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Associations, civic clubs and more.

“They’re bringing food and raising money,” Ferguson said.

Last year, the 24th Avenue God Squad collected the most food item donations among the participants, while the Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral raised the most monetary donations during the fundraiser.

Attendees get to designate which group they want their $5 donation to go toward.

Attendees will also receive one free drink and a chance to win a bicycle.

There will be 50/50 raffles held throughout the night, along with line dancing lessons.

“We need to make sure that people do not go hungry during the summer months,” she said.

“Come out and join us and have fun,” Ferguson added. “Help us help others.”

Marking its fifth year, the SOS Save Our Summer campaign raised about $37,000 and 35,000 pounds of food last summer. This year, organizers are hoping to raise 50,000 pounds of food and $50,000.

Each summer, businesses volunteer to serve as drop-off locations for food donations.

Monetary donations can be dropped off at the center or mailed.

People can also visit online at: www.capecoralcaringcenter.org/.

To donate, stop by the center on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon or stop by any of the locations with a collection box. To serve as a drop-off location, call the center at 239-945-1927.

For more information, call 239-945-1927 or visit: www.capecoralcaringcenter.org/.

The Dixie Roadhouse is at 1023 S.E. 47th Terrace.

The Cape Coral Caring Center is at 4645 SE 15th Ave.