SWFL 6-year-old helps provide meals for community members

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

A Cape Coral boy is inspiring people to help him put food on the table for families in need.

We met with 6-year-old Brantley Garcia, who is proving to the Southwest Florida community you can make an impact at any age.

Like many boys his age, Brantley loves riding his electric quad bike. But, unlike many other kids, Brantley, a Canterbury School student, has already helped hundreds of families in need.

“People that don’t have food,” Brantley said.

So he’s supporting community members, “by giving them food,” he said. “Because I like helping people.”

And Brantley’s initiative has gone noticed by one of Southwest Florida’s champions for community members who face food insecurity.

“Brantley’s support is certainly gonna translate into thousands of meals into our community,” said Richard Leber, the president of the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

It all started when Brantley, at 5 years old, donated 270 pounds of food to the Harry Chapin Food Bank through his “peanut butter and jelly drive.”

“What a remarkable story for such a young person,” LeBer said. “We just love to see that spirit of community and the heart that Brantley shows.”

This year, Brantley is collecting cash instead of cans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The virus, we can’t go to the store,” Brantley said. “We have to just do money.”

“We certainly always need cash,” LeBer said. “We wanna make sure we’re not causing people to go out and spend money in a grocery store when we’re causing a shortage for their neighbors. And, at the same time, we can probably do more with a dollar than you can while we buy wholesale.”

Brantley’s fundraising goal is $750. He recently hit the $700 mark and plans to donate that money on his birthday week in June.

Harry Chapin Food Bank says it can feed a family of four for five days with $30. That means Brantley’s donation will feed about two dozen families.

“We’re doing to take the money to the Harry Chapin Food Bank,” Brantley said.

And he’s making his family proud.

“In this crazy time, it’s so imperative that people get access to food,” said Tonia Fisher, Brantley’s mom.


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