Hurricane Irma slammed hard into Southwest Florida on Sept. 10. As the community reeled in the days-long loss of power, damage to property, lack of food, water and ice and time lost at work, the Harry Chapin Food Bank stepped in.
As the lead hunger-relief agency in the five-county Southwest Florida area, we wanted to ensure that our neighbors in need received as much food and support as we could possibly provide. As we mark the first anniversary of Irma, Richard LeBer, food bank president and CEO, reflected on the storm’s impact and the way the community rallied to help:
“Thank you for helping us serve our neighbors in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma,” he said. “As the leading hunger-relief agency in the five-county Southwest Florida area, we were first on the scene to provide food to hard-hit areas ranging from Lehigh Acres to Immokalee to Marco Island. We are grateful that, with your support, we were able to make a difference in people’s lives and their ability to recover.”
In the first six weeks after Hurricane Irma, the Harry Chapin Food Bank:
- Distributed more than 3.9 million pounds of food and supplies
- Held 72 mobile pantries in one month, more than triple the average
- Received more than 90 tractor-trailer truckloads of food, water and ice
- Launched a “Recover, Rebuild, Restore” campaign that raised more than $500,000.
“We are celebrating our 35th anniversary this year,” LeBer continued, “and we celebrate you, our volunteers, donors and advocates. We will always be there to step up to the plate when our community is in need, and we could not do it without you.”