Who We Are

Our Mission & Vision

Our Mission:
To lead our community in the fight to end hunger.

Our Vision:
That no one has to go hungry in our community.

Who We Are

Harry Chapin Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief network in Southwest Florida, serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

We rescue, inspect, transport and distribute donated food and other grocery products to more than 150 partner agencies and programs that provide direct services to those in need. They include food pantries, in-school pantries, mobile pantries, senior programs and disaster relief agencies. The food bank provides food for about 28,000 individuals each week.

Former facility on Alicia Street, Fort Myers (1994)
The back in the early '80s, at door 16 of the Farmers Market, home of the Food Bank and Cooperative of Lee County, the precursor of what eventually became the Harry Chapin Food Bank.
Door 16 of the Farmers Market, home of the Food Bank and Cooperative of Lee County, the precursor of what eventually became the Harry Chapin Food Bank (early 1980s).

History

When Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida opened its doors as the Lee County Food Cooperative in 1983, who could have imagined that more than three decades later the food bank would distribute 24 million pounds of food in a single year?

When it began, the cooperative distributed government-provided surpluses of cheese and other dairy products. Almost immediately, the cooperative began recovering other food from retailers and growers and continued to grow. In 1985, the cooperative changed its name to the Southwest Florida Food Bank to reflect its regional service area.

In 1994, our name changed to Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, a tribute to the late singer who passionately fought hunger. In 2009, the food bank moved to its current 55,000-square-foot-warehouse in Fort Myers.

We now lead the largest hunger-relief network in Southwest Florida by partnering with more than 150 agencies in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties to feed children, working-poor families, seniors and other individuals in need.

  • 1985

    June 5, 1985

    Becomes Southwest Florida Food Bank

     

    A volunteer takes in USDA food at the Lee County Food Cooperative in 1983, which later became the Harry Chapin Food Bank

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    1990

    June 5, 1990

    1990

    Affiliates with America’s Second Harvest, now known as Feeding America, the national organization of food banks

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    1994

    June 5, 1994

    1994

    Name changes to Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, a tribute to the late singer who passionately fought hunger

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    2009

    June 5, 2009

    2009

    Moves to its current 55,000-square-foot warehouse and offices on Fowler Street in Fort Myers

     

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    2010

    June 5, 2010

    2010

    Launches mobile pantry program to offer food directly to residents living in underserved communities

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    2017

    June 5, 2013

    2017

    Launches Care & Share: Senior Feeding Campaign

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    2017

    June 5, 2014

    2017

    Provides massive emergency relief to Southwest Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma, distributing more than 3.9 million pounds of supplies in the first six weeks after the storm and holding 72 emergency mobile pantries in one month

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    2017

    June 5, 2017

    2017

    Opens a new 13,500-square-foot Collier County Center in Naples

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    2018

    June 5, 2018

    2018

    Distributes its 200 millionth pound of food

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Our Culture & Values

The Harry Chapin Food Bank’s staff believes in these values:

ACT

Active

  • Move quickly
  • Get things done
  • Hold yourself and others accountable for results

Constructive

  • Provide solutions, not just problems
  • Display optimism
  • Be friendly and respectful
  • Be fair

Truthful

  • Provide facts to support opinions
  • Don’t exaggerate
  • Speak up

HCFB Culture

HCFB: Humanize Communicate Fun Believe

Humanize: We put a human face on hunger to help the community understand who is hungry and why. By humanizing food insecurity, we help overcome stereotypes.

Communicate: We are all interconnected in the fight to end hunger. Food bank staff members are also ambassadors for the food bank and its mission. Our job is to inform, educate, raise funds and advocate.

Fun: We work hard to make a difference and have fun while doing it.

Believe: We believe that there is a hunger problem in our community and that it takes hard work, commitment and teamwork to solve it. We believe that we make a positive difference.