Harry Chapin Food Bank has been honored with the March 2019 Business of the Month award by the Board of Collier County Commissioners and the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented Tuesday at the Collier County Commission meeting.
The award is presented each month to an organization that has enhanced the community through financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs that creates a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank’s mission is to lead our community in the fight to end hunger. In the last fiscal year, the food bank distributed 24 million pounds of food to our neighbors in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Collier, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.
In Collier County, the food bank serves 35 partner agencies, ranging from Amigos Center in Immokalee to Grace Place for Children and Families in Naples to Everglades Community Church. We also serve the county through our mobile pantry program, called Fulfill, and our Care and Share: Senior Feeding Campaign. The food bank has increased its food distribution in Collier County by about 76 percent over the last five years, from 2.9 million pounds in fiscal year 2013-14 to 5.1 million pounds in fiscal year 2017-18.
“We are honored by this award, which shows that our commitment to increasing our food distribution and community presence in Collier County is being recognized,” said Richard LeBer, food bank president and CEO. “We have been an important part of the Naples community for more than 20 years, and we are excited to grow our partnership with Collier government, community and business leaders.”
In fall 2017, the food bank opened a 13,500-square new Collier County Center at 3940 Prospect Ave., Naples. The new location provides more food, more volunteer opportunities, space to collaborate with other Naples nonprofits and expand services. It joins the 55,000-square-foot Fort Myers Distribution Center in serving our neighbors in need.
“Healthy food makes for healthy residents, and healthy residents make for a healthy economy,” LeBer said. “We thank the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners for naming us Business of the Month, and know they will join us in the fight to eliminate food insecurity in Collier County and across Southwest Florida.”