The Harry Chapin Food Bank is launching a $500,000, six-week campaign to help Southwest Florida Recover, Rebuild, Restore from Hurricane Irma.
We are shifting from distributing at emergency mobile pantries to replenishing our partner agencies with food, so they can distribute to the local communities and neighborhoods they serve.
We want to ensure that our neighbors in need receive as much food and support as we can possibly provide. The food bank can turn every dollar donated into $8 worth of food value. We need to raise $500,000 by Nov. 1 through the Recover, Rebuild, Restore campaign.
This fundraising drive will coincide with our regular services and programs. The food bank partners with more than 150 agencies in Southwest Florida. So far we've been able to contact about 100 agencies that have been able to open their doors. We expect more to come online next week.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank has received and distributed 46 semi-tractor trailer truckloads of disaster relief supplies since Sept. 9. That is equivalent to about 1.85 million pounds of food, water and ice to help provide relief to hurricane victims. And the truckloads are still coming.
We will be in recovery mode for a long time, as a food bank and as a community. People are home from the hurricane shelters, but many have flooded or damaged homes, some still have no power, some have no insurance or no jobs. Thousands of Southwest Floridians will remain in dire need of assistance during the weeks and months ahead.
Natural disasters place an even greater strain on those who may not know where their next meal is coming from. Hurricane Irma has limited the resources in our region and the long-term aftermath of the storm will likely result in higher costs for food, rent, insurance and other expenses of daily life.
We know officials, our clients and the public, are watching. With our 35 years of experience as the leading hunger fighter in Southwest Florida, we accept the challenge and are more than up to the task. With your contributions, we will help our community Recover, Rebuild and Restore.