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Harry Chapin Food Bank is open and geared up to help in hurricane recovery

By Staff | Sep 12, 2017

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is up and running and ready to help in Hurricane Irma recovery.

The agency is expecting truckloads of food and water Tuesday, with more to come. The food bank has 35 years of experience in assisting the Southwest Florida area during emergency situations and it is putting that experience into action.

The food bank’s role is to assist first responders such as the American Red Cross and FEMA to provide and distribute food. The Red Cross has requested help in all five counties affected: Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry.

“Our staff is contacting our partner agencies to see what their needs are,” officials said in a prepared statement. “So far, we have sent two trucks to Charlotte County to deliver to four different agencies. We also sent a truck to the Feeding With Hope pantry in Clewiston. Staff from Jesus the Worker in Lee County, where 150 people are being sheltered, are coming to pick up items this afternoon. The items being delivered include water, MREs (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) and snacks. This is just the beginning of our relief effort.”

Other than the truckloads of food that will be delivered in the coming days, donations of water, canned food, and other nonperishable foods are being accepted from the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at the Fort Myers warehouse at 3760 Fowler St. Canned foods with pop tops are recommended. Cleaning supplies and paper products are also welcome.

Monetary donations are especially welcome at harrychapinfoodbank.org . The Harry Chapin Food Bank can turn a $1 donation into $8 worth of food.

As people begin assessing the devastation in their communities, our sister food banks and Feeding Florida, our state association, are working together to meet increased needs. Feeding America continues to support the network’s efforts by securing food and funds from national donors and network members, coordinating with government officials and national organizations, and providing technical assistance as needed.

About the Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, is the leading hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank solicits, collects and stores food for distribution to families and others in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties, providing food to about 28,000 people a week.

In fiscal year 2016-17, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 22.3 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 6.6 million pounds of fresh produce. The food, valued at $37.3 million, is the equivalent of 18.6 million meals for people in need.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is recognized as a four-star organization by Charity Navigator, the national nonprofit watchdog organization. The food bank is also a United Way partner agency. For more information or to make a donation, call (239) 334-7007 or visit harrychapinfoodbank.org.