“Let’s Feed Collier,” the one-day food drive held Saturday by the Harry Chapin Food Bank in partnership with Publix Super Markets, brought in a preliminary total of 15,266 pounds of food to help feed Collier County residents in need.
Residents were invited to visit any of 19 Publix stores in Collier County and purchase one or more of the nonperishable food items most needed by the food bank. Volunteers and food bank staff were at the stores to take the donations and thank the donors.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank serves 30 partner agencies in Collier County. “This food will help a lot of hungry Collier County residents over the coming weeks,” said Richard LeBer, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. “We are so grateful for the support of Publix and the support of our generous community.”
In Collier County, about 38,000 people are food insecure, which means they often don’t know where their next meal is coming from. About 13,500 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. When school is out during the summer months, these daily meals aren’t available. Combine that with the fact that food donations generally decrease during the summer months, and it’s harder for the food bank’s partner agencies to help feed our neighbors in need.