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Zonta provides emergency support on Sanibel

By Staff | Jun 10, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva members Kelly Turnage, center, and Luann Fortune present collected food donations and a check to F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva Food Program Director Maria Espinoza.

At its year-end board meeting on May 27 via Zoom, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva voted to award emergency grants to help island organizations during the economic crisis stemming from COVID-19.

It awarded $700 to Community Housing and Resources and $500 to F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva. The club also approved $250 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers.

CHR and F.I.S.H. have received regular grants from Zonta for the past several years. However, the funds come from the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida and are the proceeds of the prior year’s Peek at the Unique. The regular grant cycle for such awards begins in late summer and checks are typically distributed the following January.

By using club funds, the board was able to provide the emergency grants quickly.

“Because the virus caused us to cancel several service projects during our last fiscal quarter, we had money left in the club budget,” Vice President Nancy Swofford, who proposed the grants with Laura deBruce, said. “It made sense to use some of this money to feed the hungry and help those in need in our own community.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Bags of donated food items in Zontian Kelly Turnage’s vehicle.

Separately, Zontian Kelly Turnage organized a drive among the club members for non-perishable food items for F.I.S.H., with the donations to be picked up on May 29 from homes throughout the island.

“Hunger is a concern for me, especially on the island where workers, including those serving or preparing food in restaurants, may not be able to put food on their own tables,” Turnage said. “Zontians responded generously and it felt great to drive around for such a good cause.”

Zonta members contributed an additional $150 in cash donations for F.I.S.H.

For more information about the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, visit www.zontasancap.com or follow Zonta Sanibel-Captiva on Facebook or on Instagram at @zontasancap.