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Community Cooperative calls on the community to spread cheer with food and gifts this holiday season

The annual Full Plates Project and Holiday Outreach are needed now more than ever

By Staff | Nov 19, 2020

Community Cooperative is asking partners and supporters to step up to provide meals and gifts to families and the homebound elderly for its annual Full Plates Project and Holiday Outreach programs. The drives to provide food and gifts to community members in need is especially critical this year as many people are still struggling with financial impacts of the pandemic.

“Since March, we have had to triple distribution at our mobile food pantries,” said Tracey Galloway, chief executive officer of Community Cooperative. “As we move into the holiday season, we haven’t seen this need diminish, so we count on our able friends and neighbors to help bring holiday cheer to the people in the community who still struggle.”

People can help Thanksgiving’s Full Plates Project in several ways:

• By donating to sponsor a family Thanksgiving basket. A donation of $50 will provide a full meal for a family of four.

• By donating frozen turkeys of all sizes (or money for Community Cooperative to purchase turkeys) that will be distributed at mobile food pantries and the Community Market during November. The goal is to collect 3,000 turkeys.

• By donating a family Thanksgiving basket that includes all the basics to feed a family of four. Visit https://communitycooperative.com/give-help/full-plates-project/ to see a full list of items to include.

• By hosting a food drive to collect items that Community Cooperative will assemble into family Thanksgiving baskets. View the wish list and food drive registration form at https://communitycooperative.com /wp-contentuploads/2020/10/FPP-Registration-Form-2020.pdf.

Donations for the Full Plates Project need to be received by Nov. 24 at 3429 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; checks can be made to Community Cooperative (put Full Plates Project in the memo line) and sent to P.O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902, or donations can be made online at https://communitycooperative.com/donate/ (designate the gift for Full Plates Project). For more information, contact Development & Events Coordinator Jazzy Proctor, 239-332-7687 extension 101 or email Thanksgiving@CommunityCooperative.com.

Beyond Thanksgiving, Community Cooperative is sponsoring the Holiday Outreach program to make the holidays brighter for many families in the community facing financial stress. The community can help by participating in:

• Adopt-A-Family where supporters are paired with families in need of Christmas gifts for children. Donors shop for the gifts, wrap them and return to Community Cooperative to be distributed to designated families.

• Adopt-A-Senior where senior citizens in the Meals on Wheels program provide gift suggestions or special needs. The gifts are wrapped and returned to Community Cooperative to be distributed on regular Meals on Wheels routes close to Christmas.

• Holiday donations to provide food for those in need in honor or memory of a loved one, complete with customizable gift tags to be hung at Community Cooperative. Donations can be mailed or made online, with “In Honor/Memory of NAME for Christmas” in the memo line. A letter acknowledging the gift can be sent to the honoree when an address of the recipient is provided.

About Community Cooperative

For 35 years, Community Cooperative has worked to effectively eliminate hunger and homelessness in Lee County while simultaneously inspiring and supporting sustained positive change in its clients by delivering innovative food, education and social service programs. With a dedicated team of volunteers, board of directors and staff, Community Cooperative stays committed to its core responsibility to collect and distribute resources through a strong and viable network of community partners. Community Cooperative is an exemplary steward of the resources entrusted to it and serves clients with compassion and integrity. Through collaboration and ongoing education, Community Cooperative supports and strengthens those whose lives have been affected by hunger and homelessness, ensuring that they have access to the resources necessary to transform their lives with dignity. For more resources and information on how to get involved, contact Stefanie Edwards at Stefanie @CommunityCooperative.com or call (239) 332-7687. Monetary donations are always welcomed and can be made directly at www.CommunityCooperative.com, or mailed to: Community Cooperative, P.O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902.