IN THE COM­MU­NITY

Meals of Hope pro­vides hol­i­day meals and more to those in need

RSWLiving - - Contents -

It all be­gan as a meal-pack­ing event in Au­gust 2007, and since then Meals of Hope has packed more than 50 mil­lion meals and has be­come the big­gest food pantry in South­west Florida. The or­ga­ni­za­tion now sup­ports 11 lo­ca­tions through­out the area and con­tin­ues to ex­pand, meet­ing an ever-in­creas­ing need.

“We dis­trib­ute food to more than 1,000 fam­i­lies ev­ery week, ev­ery­thing from frozen meats, to fresh pro­duce, to dry and canned goods, and even per­sonal prod­ucts like fem­i­nine hy­giene,” says Stephen Pop­per, pres­i­dent and CEO of Meals of Hope.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion works with food banks, con­ducts in-store pick­ups and re­lies on much-ap­pre­ci­ated do­na­tions, which can take the form of vol­un­teer­ing at a mo­bile pantry, host­ing an event, or do­nat­ing dol­lars via the group’s web­site.

The up­com­ing sixth an­nual Hol­i­days With­out Hunger will be held at two lo­ca­tions: North Naples Mid­dle School on De­cem­ber 15, and the Lee County Civic Cen­ter on De­cem­ber 22. Both will be open from 9-11 a.m. Dur­ing the fam­ily-friendly meal­pack­ing event, vol­un­teers fill bags with enough food to pro­vide six to eight meals, each meal cost­ing less than 25 cents. All bagged meals stay in the com­mu­nity.

Participating in meal-pack­ing events is one way for friends, fam­ily, neigh­bors and mem­bers of churches, clubs, teams, busi­nesses and other groups to give back to the com­mu­nity and have a lit­tle fun in the process.

Meals of Hope holds sev­eral food­pack­ing events through­out the year.

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