Making a financial contribution to the Harry Chapin Food Bank is a wise investment. Not only does a donation help feed people in our community, it is also tax-deductible.
Each month, the food bank provides emergency food to approximately 20,000 to 30,000 hungry people. Hungry people in Southwest Florida include families struggling to meet basic needs (working poor), seniors living on fixed incomes, and thousands of children whose nutritional needs must be met if they are to have any kind of quality future in our community.
While the cost of gathering and distributing millions of pounds of food is considerable, no other hunger relief solution yields such high returns as an investment in food banking. This is often referred to as the “Miracle of Food Banking.” For every gift of $10, the food bank can provide $50 worth of quality food to needy people. Also, more than 95% of the food bank’s overall budget goes to feeding people in need.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank – Southwest Florida’s only food bank – faces critical operating expenses such as monthly building expenses, fuel, purchasing and maintaining trucks, equipment repair and maintenance, printing, cleaning supplies, modest salaries, insurance, training, and packaging. While the food bank is grateful to accept almost any “in-kind” donation leading to a solution against hunger, monetary gifts are clearly needed.
Throughout the year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank seeks operating funds from local United Ways, area businesses, Florida foundations, through fundraising events, and from individuals. While these sources are often generous, the food bank needs more help now if we are to keep up with the enormous demand for emergency food in Southwest Florida.
During the past year most of our partner agencies have experienced a significant increase in requests for food assistance – increases from 30% to as high as 70% which can be attributed to a devastating housing slump and an increasing unemployment rate in our service area. In fact, Lee County has been cited in the New York Times and elsewhere as the hardest hit of any U.S. county by the housing/mortgage crisis.
Whether you are a foundation officer, a local business, an area service club, or an individual with heart, please consider the Harry Chapin Food Bank for your next charitable gift or award. Hunger is a serious but solvable problem and the solution lies within you and our community.