The South Fort Myers Food Pantry Coalition (SFMFPC) is located on the campus of the Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church, 8260 Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers. In 2007 there were food pantries in other areas of the city but none located in South Fort Myers. The churches in this area were seeing an increase in the number of people seeking assistance. Two sizable donations were made; both designated to feed the hungry. Area churches of all denominations were notified, meetings were held and eventually the SFMFPC opened in July of 2008 with the initial support of ten churches. Support has grown and 15 churches and community organizations are involved. The pantry incorporated in 2010 and now has 501c3 tax exempt status.
The pantry is staffed totally by volunteers, including administrators and the board of directors. If we were a young business, the growth that we have seen over the years would be incredible and we would be congratulating each other for our success but when your business is feeding the hungry the goal is to do less business, indicating less hunger and better financial times. Between July and December of 2008 we fed 3,515 individuals. By December of 2010 our volume increased by 100%, serving 14,567 individuals that year. Last year, 2011, continued the upward trend serving 15,839 people. By January 2013 we have served more than 70,000 people, and have purchased more than 2 Million pounds of food. In addition to an increase in the number of guests coming to the pantry, food prices have increased some and food donations have decreased. Where we used to spend about $500 a week between purchases from the Harry Chapin Food Bank and local warehouse stores, we are now spending around $1000 a week. We depend on contributions from generous neighbors.
As long as there is hunger in the South Fort Myers area, our goal is to provide food to those in need and to give information about assistance programs which may benefit them. Now that we have moved out of a trailer and into permanent accommodations, we are giving people choice as to what food they receive. Our goal is to continue a choice pantry giving our guests healthier choices particularly with protein items and fresh vegetables whenever possible. Donations are necessary to continue our good work.
In accordance with federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, sex age, color, national origin, disability, religion or sexual orientation when recruitimg volunteers or distributing food. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272 or 202-720-6382 (TYY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."
|Thomas P. Gralton email@example.com||President|
|Deborah A. Studybaker firstname.lastname@example.org||Vice President|
|Connie S. Gralton email@example.com||Secretary|
|Sandra Shaffer firstname.lastname@example.org||Treasurer|
|Lee Emrich email@example.com||Director|
Wayne Fricke firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Randolph email@example.com