Blog


01
Nov 2018
Make Room for a New Holiday Tradition!

Many people enjoy being involved with charities, especially during the holidays. Over the years, we have seen families embrace Holidays Without Hunger as more than charity work. The event has become a family tradition. “Some of our volunteers vacation in Southwest Florida and make Holidays Without Hunger a family tradition,” said Steve Popper, Meals of Hope’s President/CEO. “It is a great multi-generational event too, which provides a special family experience.” We welcome you to start a new family tradition and join us on Dec. 15 (North Naples Middle School) or Dec. 22......

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29
Oct 2018
Need Your Support for Holidays Without Hunger

The holiday season brings togetherness, celebration and gift giving, which can be both joyful and stressful. Imagine if your primary stressor wasn’t holiday shopping, but whether you were able to feed your family. During the winter break, many children who rely on school meals for nutrition go without, and many families look to our food pantries for help. To supplement our pantry giving, we started Holidays Without Hunger to help families through this time of year, so they too can celebrate and enjoy a holiday meal. This year’s two food packing events......

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23
Oct 2018

Recently our Director of Development, Brandon Dowdy, visited one of our mobile pantries and saw something that he said “will stick with me forever.” Dowdy saw a young boy who just finished going through a Meals of Hope mobile pantry line with his mother and seemed full of excitement as he claimed food items. Dowdy spoke with the boy and learned that he and his mother have become regular pantry visitors. Dowdy learned that the boy’s family has relied on the pantry since Hurricane Irma devastated Southwest Florida last year. The storm......

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03
Oct 2018
The Food Stamp Challenge Experience

Several community leaders participated in last weekend’s Food Stamp Challenge, which replicated the weekend food insecurity many children experience when school lunches are not available. Participants were asked to spend $14.93 on groceries for seven meals (Friday dinner through Sunday dinner). The $14.93 represents the maximum monthly allotment for SNAP benefits of $192 per person, or $2.13 per meal. Andy Reed, director of development, Naples Children & Education Foundation, Founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, participated in the challenge, and said, “It wasn’t as hard as I thought to eat enough,......

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26
Sep 2018

The Food Stamp Challenge, which takes place this weekend, is designed to replicate what many children experience every weekend, when Friday lunch is their last complete meal until they return to school Monday morning. Many teachers do not test students on Mondays, as they know students are not able to work at their best because of their lack of food during the weekend. The maximum monthly allotment for SNAP benefits is $192 per person, which equals $2.13 per meal. The challenge begins with dinner on Friday, Sept. 28, and ends with dinner......

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20
Sep 2018

Meals of Hope President/CEO Stephen Popper started the organization after his mother heard of school children in Haiti having difficulty learning because they did not have enough food. She knew of a food packing program in the Midwest and wanted to know if her son would ship the food if she found a way to collect it. Popper realized there wasn’t a food packing program in Southwest Florida to help local needy families, so he started doing research and working with food supply manufacturers. He contacted the Rotary Club of Naples, which......

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18
Sep 2018

Nearly a year after Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida on September 10, 2017, Meals of Hope still provides services to families whose homes were damaged and individuals who lost jobs and need additional support services. In the eight months prior to Irma, Meals of Hope distributed 700,000 pounds of food through its pantries. In the six weeks after the storm, 850,000 pounds were distributed, and the organization ended the year having distributed 2.2 million pounds of food locally. Prior to Irma, food was distributed at three locations, and for six weeks afterward,......

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18
Sep 2018
50 Millionth Meal Packed at Naples High

Meals of Hope held its first packing event at Naples High School in 2007, where 500 people packed 135,000 meals. Approximately 11 years later, on Friday, Sept. 7, the Naples High School hosted another chapter in Meals of Hope history when the Student Government Association packed the 50 millionth meal. This event marked another opportunity to raise hunger awareness during Hunger Action Month. “We’re going all over the country buying supplies for our packing events,” said Meals of Hope President/CEO Stephen Popper. “Our cost is right around .25 cents a meal, so......

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18
Sep 2018
We Broke a Guinness World Record!

Meals of Hope broke a Guinness World Record for the “most cereal boxes toppled in a domino fashion” by knocking over 3,913 boxes on Saturday, September 1, at Grow Church in Naples. The event kicked off our September Hunger Action Month activities. The 3,913 number was shy of the 4,000 target – a significant number as it represents the number of families Meals of Hope serves at its food pantries each month. Under the supervision of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, at-risk children helped arrange the boxes as a community service project.......

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08
Jan 2016
Our 5th Annual Holidays Without Hunger Packing Event Was a Great Success!

Thank you to all the volunteers who gathered at The Ritz-Carlton Naples Beach Hotel on December 16, 2017 and at the Lee County Civic Center on December 23, 2017. The combined efforts of more than 3,000 total volunteers made our 5th Annual Holidays Without Hunger packing event a great success! We packed a total of 1,027,000 vitamin, and mineral fortified Cinnamon-Apple Oatmeal meals, all of which were donated to the Harry Chapin Foodbank of SW Florida, and will help food insecure people in the 5-county region of SW Florida. Thank you to all......

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