4Patriots Helps Harry Chapin Food Bank Feed Hurricane Ian Victims

4Patriots recently donated 7,800 72-Hour Survival Food Kits to Harry Chapin Food Bank in Southwest Florida following the devastating Category 4 Hurricane Ian that killed 157 people and caused more than $50 billion in damages. The food bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida.

If you were listening to the radio during the 1970s, you no doubt heard hit singles by singer and songwriter Harry Chapin. Including Cat’s in the Cradle and Taxi. The Grammy Award-winning artist and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee recorded 11 albums during his brilliant but all too brief career.

Harry passed away in 1981 at age 38 in an automobile accident. But his songs live on, and so does his legacy for feeding the hungry. His concerts raised millions of dollars for hunger relief, and he helped create the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. 

So it was fitting when Harry’s widow, Sandra, gave permission to the Southwest Florida Food Bank to rename the organization Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida in 1994.

A quarter of a million people fed each month

A member of Feeding America, it is the largest hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to hungry children, families and seniors.

Utilizing a series of food distribution programs that feed more than 250,000 people each month, Harry Chapin Food Bank plays a vital role in responding to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and other emergency situations.

The food bank is first on the scene to provide food to children, families and seniors in the five-country area, such as immediately following Hurricane Ian that made landfall in Southwest Florida in late September as a strong Category 4 storm.

Following that tragic event, 4Patriots donated 7,800 of its 72-Hour Survival Food Kits to Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. “Your donation will have an impact in the lives of families who were affected by Hurricane Ian. We are so grateful for your generosity,” said Ryan Uhler, director of marketing and communications at the food bank.

Plenty of partner agencies

Harry Chapin Food Bank works cooperatively with other disaster relief organizations to develop disaster relief plans and serve as a conduit for distributing food, water and other essential grocery items for the purpose of immediate disaster relief.

“The organization’s Partner Agency Program is a multi-faceted food distribution program designed to serve our five-country footprint,” Uhler said.

“Our vetted agencies include social service agencies, faith-based congregations, nonprofits and community organizations, which rely on our fleet of refrigerated trucks to acquire food we have rescued from our network of food sources.

“We provide our partner agencies with more than 70% of their food inventory. Our partner agencies distribute the shelf-stable fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and milk that we have procured for them.”

A variety of programs

Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida casts a wide net as it serves a variety of people in the area with various programs. Including…

  • Senior programs geared towards feeding low-income seniors in areas of high need.
  • Harry’s Helpings program aimed at feeding children and their families in areas where food is not readily available.
  • In-School Pantry Program targeting children and staff in schools where resources are limited.

People in Southwest Florida who wish to find a local food bank can visit harrychapinfoodbank.org.

“Harry Chapin Food Bank is uniquely positioned to lead our community in the fight to end hunger,” Uhler said.

“Our multi-faceted approach is leveraged by our membership in Feeding America and includes rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste from various retail and grocery stores, national food providers and farms.

“Our relationship with Feeding Florida, the state’s lead organization in the fight to end hunger, provides resources during times of emergency and hardship, in addition to providing a healthy, adequate and consistent food supply to every community every day.”

Community responds generously

Harry Chapin Food Bank’s Fort Myers Distribution Center in Lee County consists of 55,000 square feet. In 2021, the organization supplied 47.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 12.6 million pounds of fresh produce, through its distribution programs.

Uhler said there was a noticeable response from the local community following the Hurricane Ian disaster.

“Our community has responded generously to the need,” he said. “We are seeing an increase in our volunteers and an increase in food donations, and the monetary gifts have been extraordinary.

“We can’t thank our community enough for the outpouring support we have received as we recover from Hurricane Ian.”

Uhler said he expects the distribution of roughly 2 million pounds of food each week going forward for an extended period of time to meet the need caused by the hurricane.

“Harry Chapin Food Bank is prepared to distribute as much food as necessary as our community rebuilds,” he added. “We anticipate the need to increase as emergency organizations like FEMA start to move out of our area.”

Here at 4Patriots, as I’ve reminded you before, our donations to organizations such as Harry Chapin Food Bank would be impossible for us to make if not for your purchases of our products. Thank you for helping us help those in need.


  • Deb - November 16, 2022

    Thank you! As a resident of Southwest Florida, I agree that the Harry Chapin Food Bank is the real deal.

Leave a comment

*Required Fields