March to a Million Meals: 150 agencies partner with Harry Chapin Food Bank to fight food insecurity in SWFL

The Harry Chapin Food Bank does its part to feed 250,000 people every month. But, they don’t do it alone. In fact, Harry Chapin partners with more than 150 agencies including churches and non-profits to get food to people in our community who so desperately need it.

Part of the pandemic protocol at Community Cooperative in Fort Myers is packing food kits for people in need.

Danise is thankful for this place. “Thank god for food banks like this,” she said.

She is 72-years-old, cannot find work and her social security doesn’t cover the bills. “You can’t, you can’t. You just don’t know where to go,” Danise said.

Stephanie Edwards works with the Community Cooperative. “Danise is a typical client that we see here at community cooperative,” Edwards said.

Community Cooperative is one of more than 150 partner agencies that collaborate with the Harry Chapin to feed the growing problem of food insecurity in Southwest Florida. The food bank brings them the food and they distribute it to the people who need it.

“All of the hunger organizations in Southwest Florida, we all collaborate together. We’re trying to eliminate any duplication and we have a really big community with a lot of need and there’s no point in all of us trying to save the same community with the same food,” Edwards said.

Since the pandemic began, Harry Chapin has distributed more than 25 million pounds of food through their partner agencies all across SWFL. That is 65% of all food being distributed and a vital step in curing food insecurity.

“I would say helping people like Denise knowing that she just needs that little bit of help. It’s a hand up not a hand out just to make ends meet,” said Edwards.

“This really has extended my food. I’m so grateful,” Danise said.

If you would like to donate, there’s still time to do so! You can head to WINKFeedsFamilies.com to give.

Reporter:Lois Thome
Writer:Drew Hill
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