Published: Nov 29, 2012 11:59 AM EST
Updated: Nov 29, 2012 12:43 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. - With one out of five children in America not knowing when they will eat their next meal, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. has launched the Winn-Dixie Hunger Relief program in all Winn-Dixie stores during the holiday season. From Nov. 7 until Dec. 25, Winn-Dixie is asking its customers to help make a difference in one of two ways:

· By generously donating any amount they choose at the point of checkout though easy-to-use tear pads/scan sheets found at the register· By purchasing specially-marked Winn-Dixie brand products, including water, coffee, diapers and condiments, whose manufacturers have generously donated to this program

All dollars raised by tear pads/scan sheets will go directly to local Feeding America-affiliated food banks, including the Harry Chapin Food Bank, which in turn will provide nutritious, fresh foods to people struggling with hunger. For every dollar donated, Winn-Dixie customers will help neighbors in need.

“No societal problem is more aligned with Winn-Dixie’s core business nor touches the hearts of our customers more than childhood hunger,” said Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie SVP of Marketing. “Every child deserves a nutritious meal and a healthy start to life. The Winn-Dixie Hunger Relief program provides a simple but critical way for our communities to tackle this critical issue. ”

Participating Winn-Dixie stores in Southwest Florida include:

  • 14600 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers
  • 1850 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers
  • 1145 Homestead Rd. N, Lehigh Acres
  • 9706 Stringfellow Rd., St. James City
  • 621 N Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 4849 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples
  • 1602 Lake Trafford Rd., Immokalee
  • 3280 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte
  • 2000 Kings Highway, Port Charlotte
  • 27680 Bermont Rd., Punta Gorda
  • 4104 McCall Rd., Englewood
  • 960 S. Main St., LaBelle

“The Harry Chapin Food Bank is projected to distribute more than 15 million pounds of food this year as we continue working to meet the increased needs in our community,” said Joyce Jacobs, Associate Director of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. “Through this program, Winn-Dixie and its customers can have a profound effect on this critical issue, providing children the basic nutrition they need to face each day successfully.” 

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 160 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. Over 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank 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 15 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $24.9 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 12.5 million meals to people in need.