It was thirty years ago this week that singer and songwriter Harry Chapin died in a car crash in New York state. His legacy lives on in the food bank that bears his name; a bank that helps needy people in five SW Florida counties.
"He was incredible in life, and now he is the same in death," said Al Brislain, dir. of the Chapin Food Bank in Ft. Myers. "He was a pioneer, in that he realized his voice could move people and could promote a fight against hunger. That was his cause, in life, and after his life."
Chapin's widow gave the okay to use his name for the food bank in Lee County, in the mid-1990's.
"It is a testament to the power of one person with a cause," said Sarah Owen, director of Community Cooperative Ministries. "We have people who will eat this evening, children who will get a good meal, because of that food bank. It really does show that one person can make a difference."
The Chapin food bank distributed 12 and a half million pounds of food in the past year. That is four times the amount in the mid-2000's.
Chapin had a number of hits during the 1970's, including the number one song: Cat's in the Cradle. His father, a famous drummer, had lived in SW Florida for a number of years, and Chapin's relatives still visit the area to check on the food bank that bears Chapin's name.