2017-06-15 / Top News

Food bank calls on local community to ‘Care and Share’ for hungry seniors

SPECIAL TO FLORIDA WEEKLY

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is launching the Care & Share: Senior Feeding Campaign, a $1.1 million program aimed at feeding more than 2,200 low-income seniors in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties.

In its recently approved budget, the state designated $400,000 in seed money for the campaign. The food bank campaign calls on the community to raise the additional $700,000. A donation of $500 can help feed a senior for one year.

The Care & Share program will replace the government-sponsored Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which as of July 1 will no longer be available in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which administers CSFP for the federal government, decided to end the program in the three Southwest Florida counties due to shifts in priorities. Meanwhile, the state is expanding CSFP in Hendry, Glades and other Florida counties.

State Sen. Kathleeen Passidomo (R-District 28) championed the funding request for the new Care & Share program during the state’s budget process, with support from state Reps. Chris Latvala (R-District 67) and Heather Fitzenhagen (R-District 78).

“We are gearing up the campaign immediately to ensure that no qualified senior goes hungry,” says Richard LeBer, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. “We are confident that our generous community will rally to help us complete the funding for this campaign.”

The Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, solicits, collects and stores food for distribution to individuals and families in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties, providing food to about 28,000 people a week.

For every dollar donated, the food bank can provide $8 in food value. In fiscal year 2015-16, it distributed 20.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 6.4 million pounds of fresh produce. The food, valued at $34 million, is the equivalent of 17 million meals for people in need.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is recognized as a four-star organization by Charity Navigator, the national nonprofit watchdog organization. The food bank is also a United Way partner agency. For more information or to make a donation, call 334-7007 or visit www.harrychapingoodbank.org. ¦

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