• Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida needs about 10,000 turkeys and chickens to help families in need put a holiday dinner on the table this season. Donations of fresh and frozen birds are lagging, while Thanksgiving is just three weeks away. The last day to donate birds for the holiday drive is Nov. 20.
Here are some easy ways to help:
• Drop off a fresh or frozen turkey or chicken at Harry Chapin Food Bank’s Fort Myers or Naples warehouses. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. at the Fort Myers warehouse, 3760 Fowler St.; and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. at the Naples warehouse, 2221 Corporation Blvd.
• Give a bird, get a bouquet. Blossoms for Birds is a fresh and fragrant way to help. From Monday, Nov. 9 through Friday, Nov. 13, residents are invited to bring a fresh or frozen turkey or chicken to Fort Myers Floral Designs, 11480 S. Cleveland Ave. (traffic light at Beacon Manor and U.S. 41). Birds will be accepted at the floral shop from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. In exchange for the fowl, donors will receive a lovely bouquet of flowers. For more information, call the shop at 239-278-0770 or visit fortmyersfloraldesigns.com.
• Cash donations are also welcome. A donation of $14 will buy a bird. The last day to donate birds for the holiday drive is Nov. 20.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank works with a network of 150 partner agencies, but only those specific agencies that request the birds will receive them. The food bank will meet their requests as best it can, depending on donations.
The partner agencies include soup kitchens, pantries and other feeding programs in Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte and Collier counties. They provide food to about 30,000 people each month. The food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and grocery items for each donated dollar. Last fiscal year, the food bank distributed 18.4 million pounds of food and other grocery items to its partner agencies, valued at $31.3 million. This was the equivalent of 15.3 million meals. For additional information about the food bank or how to contribute financially, call 239-334-7007 or visit www.harrychapinfoodbank.org/donate.