Children’s Advocacy Center’s partnership with Harry Chapin feeds families, raises spirits

The WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk is only ten days away, and your donations to the Harry Chapin Food Bank will help reach a goal that will help people in need all year round.

To show you how your money fights hunger, reporter Nicole Gabe went to the Children’s Advocacy Center in Fort Myers.

Volunteer Esmerelda Gonzales said six months ago she was homeless, “I’ve come a long way since I started – a long way.”

It was then, Gonzales discovered the United Way Children’s Advocacy Center food pantry.

“It’s sad when you don’t have nowhere to go, and you don’t have no food to eat,” Gonzales said.

The pantry offered her the help she needed thanks to their partner agency, Harry Chapin food bank.

Charlene Gardner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Children’s Advocacy Center. She sais, “We are thankful for our relationship with the Harry Chapin Food Bank because without them we would not be able to supply these 4,200 families with food every week.

Gonzales said because of the help she got, she turned her life around, “I bought me a trailer. I got food all the time. Completely life-changing. I’m very happy where I’m at, very very happy.”

Freddie Benyard tells us he came to the pantry when he fell on rough times.

“Everybody needs somebody sometimes; it’s a big world,” he added.

Gonzales and Benyard hope people reading this story see what a difference Harry Chapin makes in people’s lives – and give.

So our neighbors get the help they need.

If you’re interested in how to receive food, just show up with two forms of ID to the location listed below, and they will work with you. If you don’t have an ID available, you may receive an emergency food bag.

Location: 4040 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers.

Registration for the WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk on the day of the event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Miramar Outlets. The walk starts at 9:30 a.m. For more information on the walk or to donate go to


Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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