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Rotary Happenings: Rotarians hear from Harry Chapin president, CEO

By ROTARY CLUB - | Nov 3, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida President and Chief Executive Officer Richard LeBer was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.

Recently at a hybrid Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club meeting, we heard from Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida President and Chief Executive Officer Richard LeBer. The food bank is the largest hunger-relief network in the area, serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. LeBer has been president since 2016 and has helped lead the food bank to new records in sourcing and distribution of food to the local community, adapting to the new realities of life with COVID-19.

The food bank accepts, inspects and transports donated food and other grocery products, which is then distributed to more than 150 partner agencies and programs that provide direct services to those in need. They include food pantries, in-school pantries, mobile pantries, senior programs and disaster relief agencies. The food bank is being extra mindful of those who are working during business hours and those with limited transportation and would have difficulty accessing the food banks.

This year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida has had to adapt how many of its programs distribute the food, creating 14 mobile “drive-thru” touch-less pantries that allow people to remain in their vehicles and have the food placed directly into their trucks. More than 700 families have been served each week.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club regularly donates to the food bank. However, through a special district grant, led by the Rotary Club of Fort Myers and assisted by our club, the Fort Myers Sunrise Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, enough money was raised to purchase a truck to help pick up and transport food. Look for the Rotary logo when you see the truck around town.

For more information or to donate, visit https://harrychapinfoodbank.org.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club holds a meeting on Fridays at 7:30 a.m. at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, at 949 Sand Castle Road, Sanibel, and via Zoom. To attend in person, email Bill Harkey at William.Harkey@gmail.com; attendance is limited to 20 people. To take part via Zoom, call 239-472-7257. For more information, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary.