Harry Chapin Food Bank saving grace for Fort Myers family

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank mobile food pantry is a saving grace for many families in Southwest Florida who are working hard to provide for their families.

Nancy Newkirk depends on the Harry Chapin food pantry every month to help feed her family of six in Fort Myers.

“When you have hungry children, you don’t say, ‘Well, that was prescribed. I have to take it,'” Newkirk said. “It doesn’t win. Food wins.”

Dave Aiten at the pantry said their services are not going to waste.

“We’re seeing an increase of the number of people coming through here,” Aiten said.

This keeps the Harry Chapin food truck busy, making deliveries to a food pantry in south Fort Myers.

“I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning and says let me go stand in line for three or four hours for four or five bags of groceries,” Newkirk said.

But for Newkirk, the groceries she takes home from the pantry is how she feeds her family.

“As an older person, as a grandparent, I make the choice,” Newkirk said. “Am I going to buy groceries this week or my medication? And groceries win out.”

When Newkirk is not busy with five children at home to help put food on the table, Newkirk sells homemade shell creations called “Merbabies” online.

“It’s something I can do to provide for my family,” Newkirk said.

When that’s not enough, Nancy counts on the local food pantry.

“This is the one place that I come to knowing that they’ll be here for me once a month,” Newkirk said.

WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk is tomorrow in partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank.

The 2-mile walk begins with registration 8:30 a.m. and the walk 9 a.m. Saturday at Miromar Outlets.

More than $198,000 has been raised to support local families experiencing food insecurity.

To sign up for the walk, visit WINKHungerWalk.com

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