LEE COUNTY, Fla. — At the Harry Chapin Food Bank, volunteers work diligently to help fill a need in Southwest Florida.
"The support from the public has just been remarkable," said President and CEO Richard LeVer.
For the past 40 years, Harry Chapin Food Bank has been battling hunger in our cities.
And over that time, they've given out hundreds of millions of pounds of food.
"We really are the backbone for hunger relief in Southwest Florida," said LeVer. "We have 150 other organizations that we work with that are out in communities, feeding people directly every day who rely on us for food."
This year's "Donated not Wasted" campaign out of Lee County, was asking for the public's help to donate unopened pantry items.
Because the need in Southwest Florida is just as great as it's ever been.
"Even recently with the increase in fuel cost and rising rents," said LeVer, "and everything else, we've seen an uptick in the number of people who are needing help. So the number of people that we are helping is still well above the numbers we saw pre-pandemic."
But the community continues to step up.
This year, they've collected over 5,000 pounds of food.
And if they hit their goal of 10,000 pounds, then they'll be able to provide over 8,000 meals.
"Donated Not Wasted has 21 drop off points all around the Lee County area," said LeVer. "We are getting donations from all around the county to help us out this time around.“
And as the campaign comes to an end, the food bank is just grateful for all the support they’ve received.
“It just really touches your heart to see the outpouring of support from folks all around the community to take care of their neighbors,” said LeVer.