PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

We check in with the Harry Chapin Food Bank to see how they're handling the high inflation and increased fuel costs

Mobil pantry volunteers hand out food to residents.
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
Mobil pantry volunteers hand out food to residents.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers has been providing food for people in need across southwest Florida since 1983. Over the decades, it has faced trying times like during the great recession in 2008 and 2009; and during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. And now they’re facing another wave of challenges due to rising inflation and high fuel costs. Transporting donated food is their biggest expense.

The food bank is the largest hunger-relief network in Southwest Florida, serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

They collect donated food from a variety of sources and distribute it primarily through more than 150 partner agencies like churches, nonprofits, social service agencies, and other community organizations.

Last year the food bank distributed more than 47-million pounds of food...that's up from about 26 million pounds the year before: a 79% increase.

We sit down with president & CEO, Richard LeBer, to get an update on how they’re handling these trying economic times and learn what people can do to help them in their mission.