Residents are invited to visit any one of 19 Publix Super Markets in Collier County and eight Publix Super Markets in Charlotte County from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, for two county-wide food drives.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank is partnering with Publix to bring in some of the most-needed items for the 35 partner agencies the food bank serves in Collier County and 29 partner agencies the food bank serves in Charlotte County. Participating is easy. Just go to a store, purchase one or more items, and donate them as you leave to the food bank staff and volunteers set up outside.
Any donation of nonperishable food is welcome, but the items most needed are breakfast bars, canned fish or chicken, beans – dry or canned, other canned vegetables, cooking oil, pasta, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, dry milk, jelly, rice, cans of soup and beef stew.
In Collier County, about 36,640 people are food insecure, which means they often don’t know where their next meal is coming from. About 12,420 are children. In Charlotte County, about 23,140 people are food insecure. Of that number, about 4,820 are children.
In addition, about two-thirds of public school children in Southwest Florida are eligible for or receive free or reduced-price meals from their school because of their families’ low income.