Harry Chapin Collier mobile food pantry helps families with food insecurity

One bag of groceries can mean the difference between an empty plate or a full stomach.

We went to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida mobile food pantry in Collier County and heard from someone who says the food bank has helped her tremendously.

“We get fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, I mean, everything necessary that we need,” Irma Hernandez said.

A few bags of groceries can go a long way. Ask Hernandez. Like many of us, she and her family can feel the stress when the bills start to pile up.

“All the money goes to bills and everything,” Hernandez said. “And, when you run out of money, you don’t have anything to buy food.”

But, this week, Hernandez was rest assured knowing that Harry Chapin is here to make life a little bit easier.

“It’s really heartwarming to see,” said Jennifer Bledsoe, the principal of Manatee Middle School. “And I know it makes a big difference in some of the lives of these families just to have that peace of mind that they will be able to get the food once a month if they need it.”

Bledsoe said, even if the parents can’t make it, the teachers will make sure some of the food makes it home to the families that need it.

“This has really just brought the community together knowing that the school is a place that not only provides the help and safety and security with their child and education but also providing the meals,” Bledsoe said.

Because, after all, two bags of groceries can be the difference between a full plate or an empty one.

“I want to say thank you so much for all your help,” Hernandez said. “It really does help us out a lot.”

WINK News Hunger Walk is at Miromar Outlets in Estero Saturday, Jan. 18. We hope to raise $300,000. We are currently at $187,839.10, so there is still work to be done.

It’s all in effort to support families facing food insecurity. If we fail, families don’t get the food they need to stay healthy. Go to the WINK Feed Families Hunger Walk 2020 website to make a donation.

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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