We rescue food that would otherwise go to waste and provide it to our network of more than 150 partner agencies.
The food comes from growers, producers, distributors, retailers and community food drives.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 24 million pounds of food last fiscal year from its Fort Myers Distribution Center and its Collier County Center in Naples.
How much food is that? If semi tractor-trailer trucks carrying that amount of food were placed bumper-to-bumper, they would stretch nearly six miles!
What happens to the food when it gets here? The Operations Department kicks into overdrive.
About 80,000 pounds of food per day passes through our warehouse on its way to feeding our neighbors in need at our partner agencies. Food arrives at the food bank in caseloads or pallets on tractor-trailers, large refrigerated trucks, and in private vehicles carrying the fruits of local food drives. We receive about 23 tractor-trailer truckloads worth of food each week on average.
The food is inspected, sorted, labeled, and stored at our warehouse for repacking and distribution in sizes suitable for community food programs. Food that comes into our warehouse goes out the door for distribution within one to two weeks.
A comprehensive shopping or product list is maintained and made available daily via the food bank’s internal website, and each partner agency then creates its own food order by computer. The food bank’s staff and volunteers create and pack each individual order, usually weighing anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 pounds.
Representatives of some local partner agencies pick up their orders, while the food bank delivers orders to others. Every day, the food bank’s 19 trucks are acquiring food throughout Southwest Florida and/or delivering orders to our partner agencies. Our trucks travel more than 250,000 miles per year in our five-county region, which is more than ten trips around the earth (distance around the earth: 24,901 miles)!
This is how food flows in and out of the Harry Chapin Food Bank every year. Like any bank, it’s a matter of deposits and withdrawals. It’s a massive effort that wouldn’t be possible were it not for the support of many generous people, businesses and organizations throughout Southwest Florida. They include a hard-working warehouse staff and truck drivers, other food bank staff, donors to provide funding, thousands of volunteers, and or more than 150 partner agencies to distribute food directly to clients. It takes the determination and commitment to make sure no child in our community goes to bed hungry because his or her family can’t afford food.
For more information about becoming a retail food donor, or for more information about becoming a fresh produce donor, please contact Eric Hitzeman, Director of Operations, at (239) 334-7007 ext. 133 or email@example.com.
FOR RYAN: this could be an insert box in the page: It’s hard to wrap your head around how much 24 million pounds of food is. Here’s one way to convey the concept: Each tractor-trailer full of food weighs 40,000 to 42,000 pounds. Each tractor trailer is about 53 feet long.
If you take 24 million pounds of food divided by 41,000 (the middle value of the food’s weight per truck), that equals 585 trucks. Multiplying 53 feet per length of truck by 585 trucks equals 31,005 feet. If a mile is equal to 5,230 feet, then the trucks would stretch bumper-to-bumper for 5.87, or nearly six miles.
Fort Myers Distribution Center
3760 Fowler St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Collier County Center
3940 Prospect Ave. #101
Naples, FL 34104
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Food Donation Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.