LeeTran has set its sights on 100,000 pounds of food this year as the goal for its fourth annual food drive to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
LeeTran once again has partnered with Publix to sell food donation bags at all 34 Lee County stores from now until Sunday, Sept. 16. On that day, volunteers will work at every Publix from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. to stuff a LeeTran vehicle with the donated food.
Over the past three years, the drive has collected more than 191,000 pounds of nonperishable food for the food bank, which feeds 30,000 people each month through its network of partner agencies.
"We're proud to be able to give back to our community," said Transit Director Steve Myers. "We contribute the vehicles, but it's truly a grassroots effort, with hundreds of volunteers and great partners like Publix."
The food bank distributed 15 million pounds of food during the past year. "The need is still increasing," said Executive Director Al Brislain. "With our mobile food pantry, we're now able to reach out to people who can't get to a regular food pantry or soup kitchen. These people are often in dire straits, and we're literally their lifeline.
"This is a very difficult time of year for us," Brislain continued. "We count on the LeeTran food drive to sustain us until the holiday giving season begins."
Members of the community who wish to help may purchase food at any Lee County Publix from now until Sept. 16 and it will be contributed to the drive. Or, visit any Publix on Sunday, Sept. 16 and make your contribution directly to the LeeTran volunteers. They'll be the ones with the bus.
This food drive is a community service of LeeTran with sponsorship by the Beasley Broadcast Group and The News-Press Media Group.