Published: May 20, 2011 5:32 PM EDT
Updated: May 20, 2011 5:33 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla - Bins of nonperishable food are stacked three high at the Harry Chapin Food Bank warehouse in Fort Myers.  Food in the bins was donated during the Letter Carrier’s national food drive on May 14.


Now that the 19th annual National Letter Carrier’s “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive has been completed, and the over quarter of a million pounds of food have been delivered to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, volunteers are urgently needed to sort the food for distribution to the 170 nonprofit agencies associated with the food bank.


In addition to the food received from the May 14 food drive in Lee County, the food bank has increased donations of fresh produce, bread, and frozen meat obtained from local farmers and retail stores.


“As fast as the food comes through the door, we try to get it out to the agencies here in Southwest Florida that serve the families, children, and seniors who are most at risk,” said Al Brislain, Executive Director of the Food Bank. “With our snowbird volunteers gone, we are asking our local friends to give us a much-needed hand.”


Corporations and service organizations that send groups to the food bank warehouse to volunteer get a terrific return on their efforts.  Individuals are just as enthusiastic about their volunteer work at the Harry Chapin Food Bank.   Half-day schedules are available Monday-Saturday.  Businesses, groups, and individuals can call Bedzaida Bryan at 334-7007 ext. 141 to volunteer.


The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of more than 170 local nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties, who provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly.  Over 900,000 pounds of food are distributed monthly.  For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community.  In the past fiscal year, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 11.5 million pounds of food and other grocery products.


Additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 239-334-7007 or go to