The public is being asked to help Lee County Transit (LeeTran) "fill our fleet" in its annual "Fill Our Fleet-Feed Our Hungry" event. LeeTran will deploy its fleet of buses to all Publix locations throughout Lee County to collect food for the Harry Chapin Food Bank on Sunday, Sept. 15. Publix has pre-packaged bags of groceries available now for the public to purchase; individual purchases are also welcome.
This is the fifth annual "Fill Our Fleet-Feed Our Hungry" promotion LeeTran and Publix have participated in. This year's goal is to collect 100,000 pounds of food. Last year, 75,797 pounds of food and $3,145 in cash donations were collected during the one-day event. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is finding that those who have contributed in the past now need assistance.
LeeTran buses will park in the Publix parking lots from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15, for shoppers to fill bins with nonperishable food. At 3 p.m., the buses will caravan to the Harry Chapin Food Bank's Fowler Street warehouse in Fort Myers, where volunteers will unload the donations. All food collected during food drives is distributed at no charge to the food bank's participating agencies. The need for food continues as Southwest Florida families struggle with food insecurity because they do not know where their next meal will come from.
LeeTran drivers and other employees are volunteering their day's labor to serve the community. The event is co-sponsored by The News-Press Media Group and Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. radio stations B103, 96 K Rock, Sunny 106 and THE LINK. For information about the food drive, contact Joann Haley, 239-297-3507.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families 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. The food bank distributes more than 1 million pounds of food each month. For each $1, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and groceries. In the past fiscal year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 16.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $27 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 13.8 million meals to people in need.
Additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 239-334-7007 or go to www.harrychapinfoodbank.org.