FORT MYERS, Fla- Many of you have called and e-mailed us about how the Harry Chapin Food Bank can turn every donated dollar into six dollars worth of food. With the WINK News Feed Families Hunger Walk happening this Saturday, we're taking you behind the scenes for a look at how it's done.
It's 6:45 on Tuesday morning, and 13 Harry Chapin Food Bank Trucks hit the road. They're collecting donations from stores all over Southwest Florida. The program is called Retail Pick Up, and it's how the food bank gets half of the food it needs to feed tens of thousands of hunger families in our area.
"We service the 5 counties, which are Hendry, Lee, Charlotte, Glades, and Collier," said Walter Daniels, who has been a driver for the food bank for 13 years.
Today, there were 11 stops on his route. On the way to the first stop, the sun rises just in time to pick up 72 trays of bread at Pepperidge Farm.
"It's a team feed the hungry,"said a Pepperidge Farm employee.
After the trucks loaded, it was time to head to Wal-Mart.
"We probably picked up a good 400 or 500 pounds of food from this one stop," explained Daniels.
The store donated vegetable, fruits, frozen meats, and dairy products. The food bank rescues food that otherwise would go to waste. That's how the food ban turns every donated dollar into six.
"It cost us about a nickel to deliver. It cost us about 18 cents a pound to handle the food, and it cost us 10-12 cents to ship it from somewhere else," said Al Brislain, Executive Director of the Harry Chapin Food Bank.