Harry Chapin Food Bank Celebrates Naples Children & Education Foundation as October 2023’s Donor of the Month
We at Harry Chapin Food Bank are thrilled to share that the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the organization behind the esteemed Naples Winter Wine Festival, has been named our Donor of the Month for October 2023. This special recognition was presented to NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara on November 2, at the NCEF headquarters located at 2590 Goodlette-Frank Road.
This monthly honor is bestowed upon outstanding supporters, both individuals and organizations, who have significantly contributed to our cause. Stuart Haniff, the Chief Development Officer at Harry Chapin Food Bank, expressed immense gratitude for NCEF’s partnership. “Their relentless dedication to combatting child hunger in Southwest Florida is a cornerstone in fulfilling our mission,” he stated.
NCEF’s strategic focus on alleviating hunger involves collaborating with organizations to provide essential nutrition to families and children facing food scarcity. Their unique Children’s Hunger Initiative has been pivotal in delivering food to remote and underserved areas in Collier County, utilizing large refrigerated trucks.
Since the launch of this initiative, the partnership has facilitated the distribution of nearly 30 million meals to families in need, particularly in communities like Golden Gate and Immokalee, through mobile pantry distributions by Harry Chapin Food Bank.
In a significant boost to this effort, Harry Chapin Food Bank was granted $1.8 million over three years in 2023, to sustain the Lunch Boxes of Love initiative. NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara highlighted the importance of nutrition in building a strong foundation for children’s futures, impacting their health, academic success, and economic potential. She expressed pride in partnering with Harry Chapin Food Bank to enhance food accessibility in Collier County’s underserved areas.
Recent data from Feeding America indicates that over 135,250 people in the counties of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades, and Hendry faced food insecurity in 2021. In Collier County alone, this included about 32,200 individuals, with 7,110 being children. Food insecurity, defined as the lack of access to sufficient food for a healthy, active life, remains a pressing issue.
As Harry Chapin Food Bank marks its 40th year, we continue our commitment to feed over 250,000 people monthly through various food distribution programs, striving to eradicate hunger in our communities.