March to a Million Meals: Storm Smart makes a big donation to help conquer food insecurity in SWFL

WINK News appreciates your contributions as our March to a Million Meals continues.

On Tuesday, a well known Southwest Florida businessman decided to help out. Brian Rist is the Executive Chairman of Storm Smart and he, along with the CEO of Harry Chapin Food Bank, Richard LeBer came together.

“I only wish that I could, and we all could do more,” Rist said. “It’s sad that we even have to deal with the number of people going hungry … And it’s really my blessing that I can help you guys.”

Rist, Storm Smart and the Rist family foundation donated $40,000 to Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida in honor of the March to a Million Meals.

“I mean, that’s the kind of thing that just warms your heart,” said Richard LeBer, the CEO of the food bank. “We can feed a family of four for a week for $5, so $40,000 feeds a lot of people for a lot of time, which is good because we’ve got about a quarter of 1 million people that we are feeding every month right now.”

Rist also announced that they’re going to have a contest during the month of February saying that $100 from each contract they write will go to Harry Chapin Food Bank as well. This in hopes that they can make it a “much larger, rounder number.”

“I can’t begin to thank you enough for all the things you guys have done and the work you’ve put in to help Southwest Florida,” Rist said to LeBer and WINK News anchors Lois Thome and Chris Cifatte.

Rist wants to challenge other business owners in SWFL to step up and donate.

“In today’s world, in Southwest Florida, there is really no reason for people to go hungry,” Rist said. “It’s very, very sad and tragic that there’s so many people struggling so hard, so those of us who are fortunate enough to be getting through this well, I just feel like it’s our obligation.”

If you would like to donate and help WINK News in our March to a Million Meals, head to

Reporter:Chris Cifatte
Lois Thome
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