The Harry Chapin Food Bank
3760 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
For Release: Feb. 5, 2015
Contact: Meg Madzar, (239) 334-7007, ext. 120
Harry Chapin Food Bank announces $5.1 million capital campaign
For immediate release -- The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida has raised $2.7 million, more than half of its $5.1 million capital campaign goal. The food bank announced the public phase of the campaign during a celebration event Wednesday at its Fort Myers warehouse.
The purpose of the capital campaign is to grow the food bank’s capacity to distribute more food in the community. The food bank was providing about 3.4 million pounds of food in 2008, when the recession began to grip Southwest Florida. In 2014, the food bank provided 19.6 million pounds of food to children, families, seniors and others in need through a network of 150 partner agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.
“The food bank serves such a basic need in our five-county area, and the challenge became larger when the economy tanked in 2008,” said Jo Anna Bradshaw, co-chair of the capital campaign and first lady of Florida Gulf Coast University. “The board of directors determined that the time was right to launch a campaign to purchase the warehouse, increase the truck fleet and freezer space, and improve on all the logistics needed to keep pace as the lines at the agency food pantries grew longer.”
David Fry, president of Dwell Florida and campaign co-chair, asked for the community’s support to reach the remaining $2.4 million needed to end the campaign successfully. A successful end to the capital campaign will mean that the food bank will have an additional million dollars it can spend on food and programs annually. “We are excited to be at this point in the campaign,” Fry said. “We now ask the community to join those companies, foundations and individuals that got us to this point, and move us to the final goal.”
Campaign donors include The Martin Foundation, David and Linda Lucas, Dr. Wilson and Jo Anna Bradshaw, David and Monique Fry, CenturyLink Prism, WCI Communities, Publix Super Markets Charities, The Richard M. Schulze Foundation, The Foulds Foundation, Mosaic, The Selby Foundation and Suncoast Credit Union.
More than 200 guests gathered to learn about the campaign, to tour the warehouse and to hear community leaders talk about the food bank’s important role in the community. Harry Chapin’s brother, Steve, also performed at the event. Harry Chapin was a singer best known for his songs “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Taxi,” anti-hunger advocate and Congressional Gold Medal recipient. He died in 1981.
With a back drop of thousands of banana boxes that are used to pack and distribute food, the event’s theme was “peel back hunger.” The hashtag #peelingbackhunger was the tweet of the evening as guests posed for photos to spread the word on social media.
Guests included Cliff Smith, president of the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee
counties, Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, president of FGCU, and Jim Nathan, president of Lee Memorial Health System. They talked about the food bank’s community impact because of its ability to provide fresh, nutritious food to children, working-poor families and seniors.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families and others in need through a network of 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. More than 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly. For each donated dollar, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and grocery items. In 2014, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 19.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $33.7 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 16.3 million meals to people in need.
To make a donation to the capital campaign, call (239) 334-7007 or visit http://harrychapinfoodbank.org/capital-campaign/
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