The letter carrier food drive in Lee County is back after a two-year hiatus and hopes to help stamp out hunger in Southwest Florida.
The food drive collected more than 100,000 pounds of food. That sounds like a lot, but that’s only half of what the letter carrier food drive has collected before.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank needs food now more than ever. When the school buses stop running for this summer, thousands of kids in Southwest Florida will suddenly not know where their next meal might be coming from.
“For most children, the summer is a carefree time. And for those that are hungry, the summer is the worst time because they want to go to school simply for being fed,” said Barbara Evans, chief development officer at the Harry Chapin Food Bank.
School districts still offer grab-and-go meals, but the Harry Chapin Food Bank bears much of the responsibility of trying to feed all those students.
Harry Chapin resumed its partnership with the United States Postal Service to stamp out hunger with its letter carrier food drive this year.
“We feel we need to give back to the community. And we know people are in dire need, especially now time and this time of year. And the school is going to be lining up pretty soon,” said Abel Muniz, president of Branch 2072 of the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Postal carriers left postcards in the mailboxes of homes in Lee County, asking them to fill a bag with non-perishable food items.
They collected about 100,000 pounds of food, half of what they used to do.
“So we receive less food this year, for two reasons. One, we haven’t done this campaign for two years because of COVID. And because of COVID, it was a last-minute decision to go ahead and do it again this year,” said Evans.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank says it’s always a good time to donate food or money.
You can bring donations to its warehouse on Fowler Street in Fort Myers, and if you have time, the food bank needs volunteers to help sort all the food that comes in.
You can learn more about how to volunteer on the Harry Chapin Food Bank website.