Cape Coral businesses step up to prevent kids from summer hunger

From the halls to home. Summer is here and that means students all over Southwest Florida are coming home soon.

The summer break brings back a familiar challenge for many families, which is keeping everyone fed without those regular meals from school. But this summer, some Cape Coral businesses are looking to help out.

“Obviously, no one wants to be in the position to have to tell their children that there’s no food in the house,” said Richard LeBer, president and CEO of Harry Chapin Food Bank.

But right here in Southwest Florida, that is a reality for many families.

“Altogether about one in four kids in Southwest Florida experience hunger at some point in the year,” LeBer said. “It’s a lot of kids.”

On top of kids not getting free or reduced meals at schools, summer is already difficult for some families.

“If Mom and Dad work in hospitality industry,” LeBer said, “this is the slow time of year.”

Local businesses, like Frank and Sons Moving and Storage, are joining in on the fight to end hunger.

“I found out a lot about what’s in our local communities with the hunger situation and the amount of kids that get helped,” said Jim Gravedoni, of Frank and Sons Moving and Storage.

With the help of another business, Frank and Sons collected over 19,000 meals in one month last year. But they are not just setting up boxes where people can drop off food.

“People don’t want to move their canned goods,” Gravedoni said. “The heavyweight stuff because it goes by weight and mileage. Basically, what we’ll do is we’ll pack up foods that they don’t want to ship long distance and we’ll actually bring them to the caring center.”

This year, they hope to encourage more businesses to join in on the effort.

“I would like to see all the businesses in the community take this serious,” Gravedoni said. “I would like to approximately bring in at least 5 thousand dollars if possible.”

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Michael Mora
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