Southwest Florida Food Bank Seeks Volunteers

Those who served hundreds of people after Hurricane Ian are asking for help to better serve our communities.

The Harry Chapin Foodbank says it has distributed millions of pounds of food to people in Southwest Florida.Now they need your help.

Any food bank in Southwest Florida will tell you that their volunteers are more than just helpers, they are the heart of the organization.

“We call our volunteers our secret sauce,” says Karl Steidinger, Executive Director of Midwest Food Bank. “This really helps us use the dollars we are given very efficiently.”

Stuart Hanif, Chief Development Officer, Harry Chapin Foodbank, said:

And that hasn’t been as true as it has been in the last seven months. As southwest Florida continues to recover from the damage of Hurricane Ian, Midwest and Harry Chapin Food Bank staff say there is a great need for help.

“We are trying to meet that increased demand,” says Steidinger. “So our burden is even greater, which means we need more volunteers to help our efforts.”

“Hunger is not seasonal, but it is seasonal for the majority of the population,” Hanif said. “Many of our most dedicated volunteers and those who make up our largest volunteer base will return to their former homes and summer cottages.”

Midwest Food Bank volunteer Joseph Glenn said he felt called by God to serve as a Midwest Food Bank volunteer.

“When I get home, I feel happy and grateful that I’m congratulating others. Unfortunately, it’s worse than you,” Glenn said.

And as summer approaches, food banks want more Josephs coming through their doors.

“Summer is actually the hungriest season because school is closed, but hunger isn’t,” Hanif said. Children who rely on school for dinner may not have those resources, so the need is greater now than ever.”

Harry Chapin says if you can volunteer even one day, consider doing it Saturday, May 13. It’s the food bank’s annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

On that Saturday, those with mailboxes are encouraged to leave non-perishable foods next to their mailbox, and the postman will retrieve them.

For more information on how to register as a volunteer for Midwest Food Bank, click here.

Click here for more information on how to sign up to volunteer at the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

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