Published: Oct 09, 2013 11:00 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.,- Representatives from Mexico and Russia are at Harry Chapin learning about how the food bank has become so powerful in the community. During their three-day visit, the group will tour the food bank warehouse and get an overview of operations. They will also learn about the food bank's history, the development of national food banking models, food safety and partner agency relations.  The group will also learn about mobile pantries, in-school pantries and summer feeding programs. There will also be discussions about marketing, public relations, volunteer engagement and community awareness. 


The group is visiting the Harry Chapin Food Bank through The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), an international nonprofit dedicated to alleviating world hunger through food banking. GFN creates, supports and strengthens food banks and food bank networks around the world, in countries other than the United States. GFN supports existing and developing food banks and national food bank networks in more than 25 countries, home to more than one-third of the world's almost 1 billion undernourished people. GFN'S mission is to alleviate global hunger by collaborating to develop food banks and by supporting food banks where they exist.


The Harry Chapin Food Bank is an affiliate of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network. The food bank provides food each month to more than 30,000 people through a network of 150 partner agencies that run soup kitchens, pantries and other programs in Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte and Collier counties. More than 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly.  For each donated dollar, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and grocery items.  In fiscal year 2012-2013, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 16.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $27 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 13.8 million meals to people in need.