Everyone's help is needed in Lee and Collier counties to make the 20th annual national letter carrier food drive a success on Saturday, May 12. This is the day the nation's largest single-day food drive, "Stamp Out Hunger" is held.
This is the one day when letter carriers collect non-perishable food that has been left by mailboxes. Food collected in Lee County goes to the Harry Chapin Food Bank and several other food banks; food collected in Collier County goes to Collier Harvest. All food collected in food drives is distributed to participating agencies at no cost.
Individuals who won't be able to participate on, may drop off their food items at any Post Office for inclusion in the food drive. Food may also be left at Uncle Bob's storage areas at 3780 Central Ave., 4400 Solomon Blvd., or 6600 Industrial Dr., Fort Myers; 1320 River Rd., North Fort Myers; or 800 Abrams Blvd., Lehigh Acres.
Businesses can set up collection boxes for employees and customers who may not be able to leave food by their mailboxes on May 12. Virtually any kind of food may be donated in unopened, nonbreakable containers. Items especially in need are peanut butter, tuna, rice, beans, and canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and soups.
Volunteers are needed to assist letter carriers with their pickups on May 12. Contact Debi Mitchell in Lee County at5 573-9638. Volunteers are also needed to assist with preliminary food sorting on May 12. Contact Bedzaida Bryen at Harry Chapin Food Bank at 334-7007, or Kim Berghs at the United Way at 433-2000 (ext. 260).
The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties, who provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. Over 1 million pounds of food are distributed monthly. For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community. In the past calendar year, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 13.7 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $22.5 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 11 million meals to people in need.
Additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 334-7007 or go to harrychapinfoodbank.org.