Local groups donate thousands to Southwest Florida food banks

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 10:20:18-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Several groups are stepping up to support local food banks. Some digging into their own pockets to make donations. Others say they’re raising funds like they normally do, but shifting their focus to feed Southwest Florida families.

Greg Clancy with Harry Chapin Food Bank couldn’t believe the Cypress Lake Golf Club in Fort Myers donated $20,000 Tuesday - all from club members chipping in.

“I’m just blown away by the amount of donations. It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Clancy.

And, golf club members aren’t the only ones helping Harry Chapin. The Charlotte County Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club pitched in, too. Club president Bob Nichols said they gave the food bank their $1,000 annual raffle that usually supports the community in another way.

“[It] goes to either a police officers killed in the line of duty or injured in the line of duty or their surviving families who might be in a need,” he said.

St. Matthew’s house is also reaping the rewards of local generosity. Their CEO Vann Ellison said a wealthy $15,000 donation from the Iberia Bank will push them along as the need for food continues.

“It takes an exceptional gift like what the Iberia has done to help us get through these tough times,” he said.

861 people picked up food from their Naples location on Airport Rd Tuesday. But, Ellison said it gets a little cramped doing everything in one place.

“Now, one of our real critical needs is to provide a warehouse space, so we can receive all those goods, sort them out, and get them out to the community in a more efficient manner,” he said.

Ellison added St. Matthew’s House is working on adding at least four more pickup locations to make the process a little smoother.

They’re also hosting an online race to raise $200,000 to feed those in need and shelter homeless people. Learn more about the race here.