Friday, June 12, 2020
As the second week of June ends, your food bank is painfully aware that “summer hunger” is in full swing. The summer months are usually difficult for many who work in the tourism, retail and hospitality industries which our local economy is dependent upon. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of those facing “summer hunger” is more dramatic and the situation is more dire and will not be relieved by the start of next season. Even with a phased reopening of our state, the demand will not diminish the nasty bite of summer hunger. We have our work cut out for us.
Your food bank rescued 218,730 pounds of food from our retail partners this week. We distributed a total of 743,740 pounds of food throughout our five-county footprint of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties. We continue to spend an average of $1 million dollars a month on shelf-stable food, and we do not anticipate that spend rate lessoning any time soon. Logistics still present one of the greatest challenges we face in our hunger relief efforts. Space in the warehouse remains at an unprecedented density as we do our best to move thousands of pounds of food every day.
Yesterday, the United Way of Charlotte County recognized Harry Chapin Food Bank with the Community Spirit Award for demonstrating proactive and visionary leadership during COVID-19. We are so proud of this award, and we feel that we should share this award with the entire community. We would not have been able to respond as proactively if it weren’t for the support of the thousands that stepped forward. We are fortunate to work with the various United Ways in all five counties that we serve.
This week, we had 481 volunteers who gave of their time to help us sort produce, pack food kits, and help with the distributions. These change makers gave your food bank a total of 1,595 hours and we are humbled by their generosity. If you are well, able, and willing to give your time, please sign up here.
We are indebted to many who made the 619,783 meals that we provided this week possible. Thank you for responding to this enormous need. Thank you for being our helpers.
These next few months will require that we remain persistent in our vision that no one has to go hungry in our community. James N. Watkins states it best, “a river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” Together, we will take a bite out of summer hunger.
If you need food, please click here.
To support our efforts, please click here.