Delivery drivers keep Harry Chapin Food Bank running

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Carla McGee. Credit: WINK News

Southwest Florida has been doing its part to make sure our family, friends and neighbors in need have a meal to put on the table. That starts at the Harry Chapin Food Bank, where the real superstars of the operation are the people who drive the delivery trucks.

Carla McGee is a CDL driver for the food bank. She’s a one-woman band who’s worked there for 4.5 years. On a typical day, she’ll drive to grocery stores like Publix and load hundreds or thousands of pounds of food onto the truck before going off to another grocery location.

“Yeah, it’s not your typical job, but I enjoy it, because I am out and I’m helping people,” McGee said

McGee will end her day at a local food bank where she unloads all the food and hands off the goods to volunteers. Even though she’s the middlewoman, her job is essential when it comes to getting donated food out to the public. Her final stops are where she gets to see the hard work pay off, like at St. Vincent de Paul in Punta Gorda.

“She’s a very hard worker,” said Edward, a St. Vincent volunteer. “Everybody worked as hard as she does, it’d be a great world. Unbelievable.”

“Every time one of the trucks goes out, there is no food sitting there wasting,” McGee said. “It feels great, because I know they’re going to put it to good use. Usually when I pull up there are already people out there. The food is already accounted for because the need is out there.”

Drivers also pick up donated food from Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Sprouts Farmer Market. Donations to the Harry Chapin Food Bank not only helps them purchase food, but it also helps fuel their trucks, so employees like McGee can get the job done and feed people in need.

“It takes a lot of strength, but you know, I’m strong, I enjoy it,” McGee said. “It keeps me young. I know I’m helping someone, so that’s motivation on top of motivation.”

The donations keep coming in for WINK News’ March to a Million Meals. The campaign runs through March 1, and we’ve already passed the initial $400,000 goal. There is still plenty of time to make a gift and feed a family.

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