The short Boca Grande Christmas Food Drive ends Dec. 15 with donations still greatly in need.
This short, special "Christmas Push" was scheduled in addition to the usual Boca winter food drive because of dire economic situation in Lee and surrounding counties. The Boca winter drive will run from Dec. 7, the day of the Taste of Boca, which benefits the food bank, through Easter.
"We usually manage to get a half-ton of food, about 1,000-plus pounds, which is excellent for this very short Christmas-driven drive," said Thor Johnson. "It would be terrific to beat the past Christmas drives. We'll have a weight report after they pick up and weigh the van."
Johnson said islanders are "really stashing the food in the barrels" but a last-minute push is still needed.
Because times are so hard it is a year-round chore collecting food to feed to needy in this five-county region. Special short drives have become the norm, for example, this Thanksgiving's turkey drive.
Joyce Jacobs, Harry Chapin Food Bank organizer, said more than 5,000 turkeys were distributed through partner agencies so families could enjoy Thanksgiving in their homes.
Boca Christmas Food Drive
Who: Harry Chapin Food Bank, which serves 30,000 hungry families in Lee County daily.
When: Feb. 7, the day of the Taste of Boca Grande
Ends: Runs all winter, usually to Easter.
Goal: Collect 1 ton of food for the first time.
Contact: Joyce Jacobs, 334-7007, Ext. 30 or email@example.com, or on island, Thor Johnson at 964-0697.
Other recent results:
n Norman Love Confections donated a box of chocolate to anyone donating $11 to purchase a turkey, which resulted in 2,175 turkeys.
n Cameratta Cos./High Point Place and 1st Street Village provided funding for 670 turkeys.
n Curb Systems of SW Florida provided funding for 455 turkeys.
n Residents of Montenero in Naples provided funding for 190 turkeys.
"Numerous other companies, foundations, and individuals contributed to the turkey fund and made reaching the goal of 5,000 turkeys possible," Chapin said.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores food for families in need through a network of more than 170 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties. More than 800,900 pounds of food is provided to more than 30,000 people monthly.
In the past fiscal year, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 9.6 million pounds of food and other grocery products.
To contribute to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, call (239) 334-7007 or go to harrychapinfoodbank.org. For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community.