Feed the Need is a fundraiser /“food-raiser” that provides needed funds for Fort Myers Christian School, and a portion of the funds raised go toward providing healthy meals for hungry children and families through a partnership with Haven of Hope International’s Heart of Florida Youth Ranch, the Harry Chapin Food Bank, and Community Cooperative. Here is the breakdown:
- 5000 meals to the Harry Chapin Food Bank
- 3000 to the people of the Abaco Islands, Bahamas
- 100 to the Heart of Florida Youth Ranch through Haven of Hope International
- 1900 to the Community Cooperative Food Bank in Fort Myers
“Once again, this year’s packing party was the highlight of the entire process and maybe the school year! We are blessed by such a tremendous team of businesses, churches, teachers, board members, parents, students and volunteers. The joy on our kids’ faces, knowing they were helping others, was a blessing to everyone that attended,” said Fort Myers Christian School Principal Mel Mitchell. “This year 649 donors helped us raise $52,607!”
The Harry Chapin Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief network in Southwest Florida, serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.
“We are happy to be a part of this initiative, which will help us in our mission to lead the community in the fight to end hunger,” said Richard LeBer, Harry Chapin Food Bank president and CEO.
Feed the Need’s other partner, Haven of Hope International’s partner home the Heart of Florida Youth Ranch is located in SWFL and works to serve children suffering the loss of parenting due to abandonment, neglect, abuse and death by equipping children and families at risk to live more effective, healthy and fulfilling lives.
“We appreciate FMCS being a community of hope to children here locally and globally. Thanks to the compassion of this community, we will be able to help meet the dietary needs of children here in Florida and beyond,” said Haven of Hope International Founder Alice Skaff.
“I was blown away last year by how passionate the kids were about making a difference,” said NBC2 News anchor Peter Busch, honorary emcee for the second year in a row with Principal Mel Mitchell.
This year, FMCS set aside 3000 meals for people in the Bahamas. Paul Orbe of Boca Bargoons will transport food for families that continue to struggle from the impact made by Hurricane Dorian.
Each Feed the Need meal bag is fully nutritionally balanced, designed by dieticians at General Mills specifically for malnourished children. Each bag contains hydrated vegetables, soy or beans for protein, nineteen essential vitamins and minerals, and pasta for carbohydrates and energy.
“We are proud to be a partner with Fort Myers Christian School’s initiative this year to pack 10,000 meals for hungry families,” said Tracey Galloway, CEO for Community Cooperative. “We are on the front lines working every day to help hungry neighbors find their next meal.”
About Fort Myers Christian School (FMCS): FMCS was established in 1979 by First Assembly of God in Fort Myers, Florida. Fort Myers Christian School has been providing Christian education in Lee County for over 40 years. Since 1987, FMCS has been a fully accredited PreK4-8th grade school through the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council. Our mission is to work with the home and the church to academically train and spiritually nurture students to become productive citizens in society and impact others for Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.fortmyerschristianschool.org.
About the Harry Chapin Food Bank: The Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, solicits, collects and stores food for distribution to families and others in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Southwest Florida, providing food to about 28,000 people a week. For every dollar donated, the food bank can provide $8 in food value. In fiscal year 2018-19, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed nearly 26.7 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 6.4 million pounds of fresh produce. The food, valued at $43.2 million, is the equivalent of 22.2 million meals for people in need. For more information, visit harrychapinfoodbank.org.
About Haven of Hope International: Haven of Hope International is a Southwest Florida-based nonprofit organization that seeks to maximize the impact orphanages are making around the world. The first Haven of Hope orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was established in January 2004. It serves as a model for the organization’s mission to provide an environment for children rescued from poverty, abuse and abandonment to feel loved and be restored so they can dream and ultimately fulfill those dreams. Haven of Hope International is committed to supporting orphanage staff on the ground so they can provide the best possible experience for children. The goal is to give children a home that fosters true restoration and physical, spiritual and emotional growth. Learn more at havenofhopeintl.org.
About Community Cooperative: Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in the community. In 2018, the agency assisted over 27,000 Lee County residents through its Community Cafés, Community Market, Community & School Mobile Pantries and the Meals on Wheels program, as well as homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.