Summer means an increase demand at local food pantry
Harry Chapin Food needs helpPhoto: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Harry Chapin Food Bank says they see an increase in demand during summer months.
Joe Burns is a volunteer at the food bank. He has worked with food banks throughout the country. For the past 3 months, he has been an extra hand at the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers.
"Helping those out that are less fortunate than myself and plus it's a good work out, keeps me in shape."
On Tuesday, nearly 40 volunteers work the floor to take in food and help distribute it. The food bank got a shipment of Bagel Bites which will be used to feed hungry children since school is out.
"So many families have had their hours cut back because of the lack of work off season and they are looking more to pantries," said Joyce Jacobs, Associate Director of the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
Children make up 40% of the food bank's clientele and the need is growing. For example in 2008 in Southwest Florida, 4.4 million pounds of food was distributed. In 2012, the number more than tripled. The food bank distributed 15.1 million pounds of food.
"We serve 160 different agencies throughout the day and various agencies come in and pick up their orders," said Jacobs.
While the demand for help is up, Jacobs tells Fox 4 the food bank's volunteer base is down.
"Our volunteer base is down because so many of our volunteers are snowbirds so they're gone for 6 months."
Volunteers like Burns keep hustling to make sure those hungry are helped.
For more information visit www.harrychapinfoodbank.org or call (239) 334-7007.