We play a vital role in responding to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and other emergency situations. We help other agencies by providing food to affected communities. After Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida in September 2017, the Harry Chapin Food Bank was first on the scene to provide food to families, seniors and other individuals in Lehigh Acres, Immokalee and Marco Island.
During the summer and into fall 2018, algal blooms ruined our beaches, killed sea life and hurt the businesses and workers who rely on our tourism economy for their livelihood. We started the Coastal Relief Campaign, holding emergency mobile food pantries in the areas of highest impact. By the end of September, we distributed about 32,000 pounds of food to 1,246 families.
In the first 6 weeks following Hurricane Irma, the Harry Chapin Food Bank: