Update Sept 1, 2023
Harry Chapin Food Bank has been in contact with our mobile pantry partners in Charlotte County to offer the possibility of providing additional assistance to those families that could be affected by Hurricane Idalia. We are aware that many of our neighbors were still struggling from the effects of Ian before this storm and wanted to have resources available for those who need them the most.
Both of our partners, Sacred Heart and Human Services, have agreed to host weekly distributions during the month of September.
We will be planning weekly mobile distributions at both locations on 9/14, 9/21 and 9/28. Click the link below for more information.
Update August 29, 2023
As Tropical Storm Idalia gathers momentum, communities along Florida’s west coast are bracing for its impact. The leading and only Feeding America food bank in Southwest Florida, Harry Chapin Food Bank is proactively taking measures to ensure that essential food and water supplies reach those in need.
Understanding the Food Bank’s Role
While not a first responder in the traditional sense, Harry Chapin Food Bank plays a crucial role when natural disasters strike. The food bank collaborates directly with frontline disaster relief organizations, like the American Red Cross and the United Way. Serving as a pivotal distribution center, the food bank ensures that essential food and grocery items are funneled efficiently to these partners, its network of associated agencies, and through our Partner Agency and Mobile Pantry programs.
Prepping for Idalia
Given the unpredictability of Idalia’s path, the Southwest Florida coast may face conditions ranging from mild tropical storm winds to the more severe winds of a Category 1 or 2 hurricane. Amid this uncertainty, we have canceled all operations and distributions at both the Fort Myers and Naples distribution centers, beginning noon on Tuesday, August 29, and will remain closed on Wednesday, August 30. The food bank is tentatively scheduled to resume operations on Thursday, August 31.
If you are in need of food, we advise contacting the local food pantry prior to your visit. Please note that the operating hours of our partner agencies may differ from ours. You can search for food by visiting harrychapinfoodbank.org/food-locator.
Behind the scenes, the guiding team at Harry Chapin Food Bank is in continuous communication with Feeding Florida – the overarching body of nine regional food banks. Together, they strategize, prepare, and coordinate relief measures. Feeding Florida is concurrently coordinating efforts with Feeding America, its national counterpart. These connections highlight the synergy and concerted action between regional and national organizations during challenging times.
Once Idalia passes, the aftermath will necessitate a swift response. The Food Bank’s team will spring into immediate action, assessing the needs across its five-county service footprint – Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee. Feeding Florida and Feeding America will also assist with evaluating the situation and will decide on the best course of action. We stand ready to support our neighbor food banks once the needs have been evaluated.
A Message to Our Community
Rest assured, Harry Chapin Food Bank remains dedicated to serving our Southwest Florida community. In the wake of Idalia, the food bank will keep our community regularly informed and rally support to address the emerging needs.
A Glimpse at the Harry Chapin Food Bank
Harry Chapin Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is the largest hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to children, families, and seniors who are hungry through a series of food distribution programs that feed more than a quarter of a million people each month.
Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed $61.5 million worth of food in fiscal year 2022. Through our food distribution programs, we supplied 34.7 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 12 million pounds of fresh produce. The food is the equivalent of 29 million meals distributed to those who are hungry.
Our membership with Feeding America enables us to amplify our food and distribution efforts and bring in food from various retail and grocery stores, national food producers and distributors, and growers locally, nationally, and even internationally.
Harry Chapin Food Bank is proud to be named a Blueprint Partner by the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. Harry Chapin Food Bank is also a United Way partner agency. For more information or to make a gift, call 239.334.7007 or visit harrychapinfoodbank.org.