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Mobile Food Pantry to visit Pine Island Elementary

August 2, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Harry Chapin Food Bank will hold a mobile food pantry distribution at Pine Island Elementary School from 4-6 p.m. in conjunction with the back to school open house. The distribution is open to all residents of Pine Island and Matlacha.

"We partner with many schools throughout our five-county service area of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades counties as mobile pantry distribution sites to serve the entire community," Harry Chapin Programs Outreach Coordinator Louise Bain said. "Almost everyone knows where the schools are located, and many of our clients are working families with children. It is a wonderful collaboration."

The Harry Chapin Mobile Pantry Program was established in July 2010. Since then it has delivered thousands of meals of fresh produce and food to families in need. The food bank staff works together to coordinate food quantities, distribution rates, location and partnerships, including making volunteer arrangements. Mobile pantries are often sponsored by a particular organization.

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The mobile food pantry truck from the Harry Chapin center will be vising Pine Island?next Tuesday, Aug. 8. The food distribution will take place during the open house hours, from 4-6 p.m., at Pine Island Elementary School.


"We know that our seasonal economy here in Southwest Florida means many households see a reduction in income during the summer, and the cost of preparing children to go back to school can put an additional strain on the finances of many families," Bain said.

The food bank will distribute dry and canned goods, bread, fresh produce and various protein items such as chicken, deli meats and cheese. They will also be distributing mosquito repellent, which was generously donated to all of Florida's regional food banks earlier this summer in an effort to combat the Zika virus.

"While our economy does continue to improve, many working families still have difficulties making ends meet due to rising rents, healthcare costs and other factors," Bain said. "Our mobile food pantries provide families with 30-40 pounds of food, or the equivalent of approximately 35 meals; which helps lessen the burden of having to possibly choose whether to buy those needed school supplies or put food on the table."



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