homepage logo

Association of Realtors seeking volunteers for Meals of Hope packing event

By Staff | Jul 19, 2017

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors communications and public relations committee: (From left to right) Kelly Huguenin, Nanci Berlin, Cathie Lewis, Anna Turner, Deb Gleason, Susan Andrews, Judie Anderson, Joel Goodman and Sarah Ashton. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors continues to “Make A Difference” this year through helping combat hunger through a partnership with Meals of Hope.

The association has scheduled a Meals of Hope packing event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 28, at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors President Joel Goodman said their theme this year, “Together, We Make A Difference,” has included such events as collecting donations of food, clothes, bedding and different miscellaneous household items for various organizations. Meals of Hope, he said is one of their next activities scheduled for this month.

“What I had hoped to do this year is get our people, not just the realtors, but we have affiliates and other members that are part of our association, bring everyone together for the purpose of helping our community,” Goodman said.

The association has 260 Realtors and 140 affiliate business partners.

“With that mass of people and support, this year we are trying to Make A Difference getting everyone rallied around that mission,” Goodman said. “Realtors do volunteer for a lot of events and are involved in a lot of different service clubs. We wanted it to be a specific focus for our association.”

Susan Andrews, the communication and public relations committee chairman, and her committee members, are the driving force behind organizing and planning all of the events, and putting the people power behind them.

“She’s doing a great job and has really pushed this mission for this year,” Goodman said.

The target of the packing event is 20,000 meals in two hours.

“We needed to raise $5,000 to cover the cost,” Goodman said.

Although the goal of $5,000 has been reached, he said they would not discourage any further donations.

To achieve the goal of packing 20,000 meals in two hours, the association is seeking volunteers. They hope to have a minimum of 50 volunteers before the end of the month.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS Chief Executive Officer Bill Robinson said as of last week they had between 25 to 30 volunteers signed up already just from their affiliate and realtor members alone, as well as local students.

“The more community involvement, the better,” he said.

The Meals of Hope food packages either include macaroni and cheese, or beans and rice. The macaroni and cheese includes macaroni, soy protein, 21 vitamins and minerals and a packet of cheese sauce. The beans and rice option includes rice, precooked dried beans, soy protein, six dried vegetables and 21 different vitamins and minerals.

Meals of Hope has an organization that talks to the different food pantries to identify where the need is most.

“They can basically decide who needs it most, especially during the summer,” Robinson said.

This is the first time the association has partnered with Meals of Hope.

In 2007, Meals of Hope began after a shipment of food was sent to a poor school in Haiti. The efforts continued after Executive Director Stephen Popper wanted to make the efforts available in Southwest Florida in August of the same year. He and a team of volunteers packed 135,000 meals at a local high school.

In addition to Florida, Meals of Hope has impacted other communities in Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, as well as Haiti, Jamaica, Nicarauga and Malawi.

For more information about the association, call (239) 472-9353.