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Beacon, Harry Chapin Food Bank deliver 150 meals

July 5, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Thursday morning the Beacon of HOPE and the Harry Chapin Mobile Food Pantry handed out slightly over 6,000 pounds of food to Pine Islanders.

"Our goal is to reach as many people as we can," Harry Cha-pin Programs Outreach Coor-dinator Louise Bain said. "The average Mobile Food Pantry distribution is 2 hours and a single truck can feed as many as 250 families. Today I am happy to say we delivered 150 meals and that's a good day."

"We had a huge rush of people when we opened at 9 a.m. and a steady line throughout the morning," Beacon of HOPE president Elsie Stearns said. "This is the most successful food distribution we've ever had."

Article Photos

Helping with the food distribution were, from left, Father Jacek Mazur, Beacon of HOPE president Elsie Stearns, Harry Chapin Outreach coordinator Louise Bain, Stacie O'Block, Beacon director Betsy Haesemeyer and Mike Davis.


"For the first time we are including people that are unable to get to the Mobile Food Pantry," Beacon of HOPE executive director Betsy Haesemeyer said. "We have an issue on Pine Island that people don't have transportation, so this year we requested that they pre-register so we could offer delivery for people that couldn't get here. We had 30 people register and we'll be making those deliveries this afternoon."

"This is a cooperative effort with Harry Chapin Food Bank, Feeding America, Feeding Florida, United Way, Pine Island Food Pantry and the Beacon of HOPE," Haesemeyer said. "We also received shopping carts from Winn-Dixie and 150 shopping bags from Stonegate Bank. I'd also like to thank Our Lady of the Perpetual Medal Church and all the amazing volunteers here today."

Any "leftover" food not distributed from the truck was donated to the Pine Island Food Pantry.

"Everything stays on the island for island residents," Haesemeyer said.



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