Client Stories

Dace 640 480 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Dace Vella was proud of never having to take any help from anybody in her life.

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Bill 800 1014 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Bill lives in a car that’s more than 30 years old.  “Cheap, cheap transportation and very dependable,” he said. His circumstances became known after the car’s transmission died and the mechanic was unwilling to let Bill sleep in the car in his repair shop. In his 80s, Bill said he feels like he’s lived three…

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Elaine 400 400 Harry Chapin Food Bank


A long time ago, Elaine once worked for Donald Trump as a blackjack dealer in an Atlantic City casino. She is twice widowed. When her first husband died of cancer, she lived in New Jersey with four young children. “It was a struggle,” she said. She moved to Southwest Florida to marry her second husband,…

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Sam 400 400 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Sam received a food kit at a Fort Myers partner agency from the food bank’s Care & Share: Senior Feeding Campaign. He also received some fresh corn along with the kit. “It works real good for me,” he said. Sam will sign up for Social Security soon and works at a plant nursery three days…

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Louise 999 999 Harry Chapin Food Bank


We met Louise at one of the first distributions in Lee County for our Care & Share: Senior Feeding Campaign. Louise received her food kit and said she was relieved not to have a gap in receiving the supplemental food. “I just prayed that another one would come when that one stopped,” she said of…

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Becky 800 533 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Becky had a sunflower tattoo and also has tattoos of the names of her two children and three grandchildren. The food she will receive through the Care & Share: Senior Feeding Campaign will help her get by.  What she doesn’t use she gives to somebody else. “Food stamps don’t go very far on disability,” she…

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Sylvia 800 800 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Sylvia and her granddaughter, Eva, were at a mobile pantry the food bank held in conjunction with a back-to-school open house at Franklin Park Elementary in Fort Myers. “I’m here today because my granddaughter is going to school. I came to talk to her teacher,” Sylvia said. “I saw this on the news and I…

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Regina 800 800 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Regina is in her early 70s. She picks up food for herself and a neighbor, who is partially blind, at the Gladiolus Food Pantry, one of the food bank’s partner agencies. “I come here out of necessity,” she said. “I’ve worked all my life. This is the first time I’m in this situation.” Regina said…

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Jeff and Gina 800 533 Harry Chapin Food Bank

Jeff and Gina

Jeff came to an emergency mobile pantry on Fort Myers Beach last summer with his 3-year-old daughter Gina. Red tide had polluted the water and devastated the island’s vital tourism industry. “I work in a restaurant. Our business right now is down,” due to the red tide, he said. “This is a tourist place. If…

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Dorita 800 533 Harry Chapin Food Bank


Dorita stood in line at the mobile pantry with her son, age 3, who slept through it all in his stroller. “A lot of times, we don’t have much to eat,” said Dorita, a stay-at-home mom with three children. “Every day things are getting more expensive,” she said. “It’s hard to buy meat, especially for…

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