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Hunger Walk a success

January 29, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

The 2014 WINK News Feeds Families Hunger Walk reached its goal of $300,000 on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Miromar Outlets in Estero. Thanks to the community for its generosity, event sponsors, donors and walkers and Larry Lipman, president of Lipman produce, who donated more than $10,000 to ensure that the food bank reached its goal.

Noelle Melanson, chairwoman of the Harry Chapin Food Bank board of directors, stated, "the Food Bank is so fortunate to have such great partners and supporters who braved the cold temperatures on Saturday to walk and support our cause, and I am so very thankful to everyone who helped us reach our goal of raising $300,000 to feed our local community."

Al Brislain, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank, said the community's support will help those in need. "This is such a giving community! People recognize that despite the upturn in the economy, there are still many families living from paycheck to paycheck. The success of the WINK News Feeds Families Hunger Walk will assure that many of our neighbors in need will have food on their tables when times are tough."

Each dollar donated to the WINK News Feeds Families Hunger Walk will provide $6 worth of food to those in need in Southwest Florida. The $300,000 raised will enable the Harry Chapin Food Bank to distribute more than $1.8 million in food to families in our community through a network of more than 150 partner agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

This year's presenting sponsors were Garden Street Iron & Metal, Inc. and the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Smart Companies was a major sponsor. Gold sponsors were Florida Gulf Coast University and Lipman.

Sandy Robinson of Northern Trust and Dr. Brian Schwartz of 21st Century Oncology were co-chairs of this year's walk, and Lois Thome, WINK News anchor, was the honorary chair. Robinson would just like to thank those in the community who supported the WINK Walk, and our wonderful sponsors who enabled us to reach our goal, which will allow the food bank to provide $1.8 million in food to those in need in our five county area. "You have all made a difference for so many. And this makes six years in a row we have made our goal--well done by all."

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. More than 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly. For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community. In the past fiscal year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 16.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $27.6 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 13.8 million meals to people in need.

For additional information about the Harry Chapin Food Bank or to make a financial contribution, call 239-334-7007 or go to

Joyce Jacobs

Associate Director

Harry Chapin Food Bank



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