IN THE COMMUNITY
Meals of Hope provides holiday meals and more to those in need
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.