Churches, businesses launch Feeding Southwest Florida to expand emergency food services for more than 4,000 local school children
Observing the devastating effects of skyrocketing food costs and high unemployment in Southwest Florida, Not In My City is bringing together local churches and businesses to launch Feeding Southwest Florida to expand the number of children receiving emergency food supplies in Lee County. An organization that changes lives by helping churches move people into action to meet real needs in their communities, Not In My City’s goal is to provide more than 4,000 Lee County school children with emergency food assistance throughout 2013. Working in partnership with the Lee County Public School District and Community Cooperative Ministries Incorporated (CCMI), Not In My City aims to collect at least 600,000 pounds of food and raise thousands of dollars through hundreds of neighborhood food drives in partnerships with local churches and businesses.
"Families can spend up to one third of their budget just on food. The emergency food assistance that children receive through CCMI at school is often the difference between showing up on Monday ready to learn, and recovering from a weekend without adequate nutrition," said Meghan Madden, CCMI's Division Director of Food Services.
The concept behind Feeding Southwest Florida began several years ago when Next Level Church launched Feeding Fort Myers and raised more than 100,000 pounds of food since the program began. In 2011, Not In My City partnered with Cape Christian Fellowship to launch Feeding Cape Coral, raising another 25,000 pounds of food. This year, Not In My City aims to double the number of schools receiving their emergency food assistance program from four to eight.
“We are committed to nourishing the minds and bodies of children in need in Lee County, and our partnership with the faith community has been the most critical factor in making this happen. If a child doesn't have food, they are not healthy and ready to learn,” said Mary Fischer, chairman, Lee County School Board.
"One of our primary goals is to make sure that children understand their God-given potential and have every opportunity to attain it. By partnering with local schools and encouraging and equipping local churches to do the same, we are seeing the fulfillment of that goal," said Not In My City Director Chad Woolf.
"Children may go to bed hungry in other cities, but Not In My City," said Cape Christian Lead Pastor Wes Furlong. "Not in my city is a statement of responsibility that says we will know the needs of our city, find ways to meet them, and let people know what support is available. Feeding Southwest Florida is at the heart of it."
To participate in Feeding Southwest Florida, visit www.feedingswfl.com. Not In My City is providing local churches and businesses with food drive kits filled with instructions, invitations and promotional materials to equip participants with the supplies needed to host a Feeding Southwest Florida collection event. Kits for businesses include promotional materials and large stickers to place on collection boxes. Participating businesses will be featured on the website's collection map at www.feedingswfl.com
"It's very important to us as a business to give back to the community. Working with Not In My City to rally business owners in Cape Coral to support Feeding Southwest Florida is just one way we can contribute to the long term success of our city,” said Tad Yeatter, owner and Broker of Schooner Bay Realty in Cape Coral.
Not In My City is located at 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S. in Cape Coral. More than 40 churches participate in Not In My City's church network, with more than 400 individuals signed up to serve their community. Learn more about Not In My City at www.notinmycity.org or contact Director Chad Woolf at 239-772-5683, ext. 236.