Press Release: The Fleet is Filled with nearly 55,000 pounds of food in Lee County

Tags: Food Drive, Events

Harry Chapin Food Bank

3760 Fowler Street Fort Myers, Fl. 33901

Contact: Mary Wozniak 239-334-7007 Ext. 150

Marketing and Communications Manager


Cell Phone: 239-826-8856

(Zachary DeRose and Kaley Hildebrand unload nonperishable ‘Fill Our Fleet’ donations at Colonial Crossings)

For release: The Fleet is Filled with nearly 55,000 pounds of food in Lee County

Sept. 22, 2015 – The Lee County community rallied to the call to fight hunger by donating nearly 55,000 pounds of food Sunday at the 7th annual “Fill Our Fleet” food drive to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

Donations of about $7,080 in cash and checks were also received.

Publix Super Markets, LeeTran and the food bank teamed up to hold the five-hour, one-day event at 34 Lee County Publix store locations.

Harry Chapin Food Bank volunteers unload donations from LeeTran buses at the Fowler warehouse)

A LeeTran bus was waiting at each of 20 Publix locations and vehicles from some of our food bank partner agencies manned the other 14 Publix sites.  Shoppers could choose from several staple food items the food bank uses most, like peanut butter and jelly, tuna, cereal, macaroni and cheese, soup, etc, 

LeeTran had 112 volunteers on hand to greet customers, hand out flyers, accept their donations and load them into the buses. Harry Chapin Food Bank had 31 volunteers unloading food items at the food bank’s warehouse on a sweltering summer afternoon.

(LeeTran bus filled with ‘Fill Our Fleet’ donations from Publix Super Market at The Center of Bonita Springs)

September is National Hunger Action Month. It is also a critical month for the more than 150 nonprofit partner agencies that receive donated items from the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Many food pantries find their shelves empty in September, since donations from spring food drives have been depleted and holiday donations are not yet coming in.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and distributes quality food to families in need through its network of nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties. These partner agencies operate food pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding programs that serve 30,000 Southwest Floridians each month. 

The food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and grocery items for each donated dollar. The food bank provides more than 1 million pounds of food every month to our partner agencies. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the food bank distributed 18.4 million pounds of food and other grocery items, valued at $31.3 million. This was the equivalent of 15.3 million meals to people in need.

Children and seniors make up 50 percent of the people the food bank serves. Other groups include underemployed clients, single-parent and other low-income families, children and seniors. The food comes from growers, food manufacturers, grocery retailers, community food drives and distribution centers.

The food bank’s goal is to not only feed those in need, but to educate the public about the problem of hunger and to advocate for families facing hunger. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is recognized as a four-star organization by Charity Navigator, the national nonprofit watchdog organization.

For additional information about the Harry Chapin Food Bank, please call  239-334-7007. To learn how to help by donating or volunteering, visit

Tanya Phillips, Volunteer Manager can be reached at 239-334-7007 ext. 141.


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