Residents are invited to shop any of Publix Super Markets’ 35 Lee County stores from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, to support the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank is partnering with Publix and the United Way of Lee County in “Let’s Feed Lee,” a food drive to bring in some of the most-needed staples for the more than 150 partner agencies the food bank serves. Participating is easy. Just go to a store, purchase one or more items, and donate them as you leave to the food bank staff and volunteers set up outside.
In Lee County, 87,840 people are food insecure, according to the 2018 Map the Meal Gap study conducted by the Feeding America network of food banks, which includes the Harry Chapin Food Bank. People who are food insecure often don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Of that number, 26,930 are children.
In addition, about two-thirds of public school children in Southwest Florida are eligible for or receive free or reduced-price meals from their school because of their families’ low income. “We are grateful for our partnership with Publix and the United Way in helping feed our neighbors in need,” said Richard LeBer, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. “The month of September is Hunger Action Month, and the ‘Let’s Feed Lee’ food drive is the perfect way to wind up a month of raising hunger awareness.”
Any donation of nonperishable food is welcome, but the items most needed are breakfast bars, canned fish or chicken, beans – dry or canned, other canned vegetables, cooking oil, pasta, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, dry milk, jelly, rice, cans of soup and beef stew. Download the list here.
“Publix, Harry Chapin and United Way have a long standing partnership that benefits our community when we collaborate on a project like ‘Let’s Feed Lee,’” said Cliff Smith, President of the United Way of Lee County. “The need for food is a high priority in our county. This food drive will help thousands of our neighbors.”