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‘Donated not Wasted’ campaign collects more than 7,600 pounds of food for Harry Chapin Food Bank

‘Donated not Wasted’ campaign collects more than 7,600 pounds of food for Harry Chapin Food Bank

Harry Chapin Food Bank, the largest hunger relief organization in Southwest Florida, is thrilled to announce Lee County Solid Waste collected 7,623 pounds of food during its annual “Donated not Wasted” food rescue campaign.

Now in its 7th year, the “Donated not Wasted” initiative encourages seasonal residents and visitors to donate unopened pantry items before returning north. Since its inception, more than 31,000 pounds of food have been diverted from disposal and sent to the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

“We are eternally grateful for the generous support we have received from this continued vital partnership with Lee County Solid Waste, the Lee County Library System, Lee County Parks & Recreation, the Sanibel Public Library and Waste Pro,” said Stuart Haniff, the chief development officer at Harry Chapin Food Bank. “The ‘Donated not Wasted’ campaign is an incredible opportunity to not only support Harry Chapin Food Bank, but also inform more Lee County residents and visitors about our mission to end hunger in Southwest Florida.”

The 2024 “Donated not Wasted” campaign ran from March 18 through April 1. Community members were encouraged to drop off unopened canned or dry goods at one of more than a dozen locations throughout Lee County, including recreation centers and libraries.

“Lee County, in partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank, collected over 7,600 pounds of food during this year’s ‘Donated not Wasted’ campaign,” said Douglass Whitehead, the Lee County director of solid waste. “This food will provide more than 6,300 meals while being diverted from final disposal.”

According to Feeding America, more than 135,250 people in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties faced food insecurity in 2021. More than 30,000 of those are children. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.

Now in its 40th year, Harry Chapin Food Bank currently feeds approximately 300,000 individuals each month, including 105,000 children, throughout its five-county region.

To host a food drive, make a donation or learn more about the food bank, visit


About Harry Chapin Food Bank

Harry Chapin Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is the largest hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to children, families, and seniors who are hungry through a series of food distribution programs that feed more than a quarter of a million people each month.

Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed $61.5 million worth of food in fiscal year 2022. Through our food distribution programs, we supplied 34.7 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 12 million pounds of fresh produce. The food is the equivalent of 29 million meals distributed to those who are hungry.

Our membership with Feeding America enables us to amplify our food and distribution efforts and cost-effectively source food from various retail and grocery stores, national food producers and distributors, and growers locally, nationally, and even internationally.

Harry Chapin Food Bank is proud to be named a Blueprint Partner by the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. Harry Chapin Food Bank is also a United Way partner agency. For more information or to make a gift, please call 239.334.7007 or visit

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