In each of the last two fiscal years, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 18 million pounds of food throughout Southwest Florida to our neighbors in need. How much is 18 million pounds of food and what does it take to get it to those who need it? I find that the most effective way to visualize 18 million pounds of food is through an easily understood analogy.
Consider that the average fully loaded semi-truck (53 feet in length) delivering food to the Food Bank consists of 20 to 22 pallets of food. Each fully loaded pallet has an average maximum weight of 2,000 pounds. Therefore, the average weight of a fully loaded 53-foot semi-truck is between 40,000 and 42,000 pounds! With this in mind, if the Food Bank were to take the total number of semi-trucks necessary to deliver 18 million pounds of food, and then place them bumper to bumper, you’d see 429 semi-trucks in a line that stretches 4.3 miles long! That’s one big convoy! Now just imagine if each truck unloads the pallets of food at the same time and places them end to end. You’d have a line of pallets – stacked with food – that would extend to an astounding 6.5 miles long!
This is how much food that flows in and out of the Harry Chapin Food Bank every year. It’s an effort that wouldn’t be possible were it not for the support of so many generous people and organizations throughout Southwest Florida. It takes those willing to provide funding for the logistical support necessary to secure and distribute the food. It takes thousands of volunteers willing to donate their time on behalf others. It takes more than 150 non-profit partner agencies in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades counties to distribute the food directly to clients, and of course, it takes the determination and willingness to make sure no child in our community goes to bed hungry because his or her family can’t afford food.
Harry Chapin Food Bank Food Resourcing Manager
(239) 334-7007 ext. 137
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