The Collier County "Stuff the Bus" Community Food Drive was a success thanks to the generosity of Collier County Publix shoppers. The event, which took place Sunday, February 19, at ten local Publix stores, collected 21,429 pounds of food which was taken to the Harry Chapin Food Bank to feed Collier’s needy residents.

This is the fourth year that the United Way of Collier County, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Collier Area Transit and Publix Super Markets teamed up for the "Stuff the Bus" food drive. The event was scheduled earlier this year to take advantage of the heavy store traffic during season to help fill our local food pantries, when shelves have less food and families still need support. This is a critical time for the more than 27 Collier County food pantries that receive donated items from the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Collier County has more than 40,000 residents who are food insecure, or who do not know where their next meal will come from. Additionally, 64 percent of students in Collier County Public Schools receive free or reduced lunches.

"We wish to thank all the amazing volunteers! We had 138 volunteers who gave up part of their Sunday to help serve our community- this speaks to the caring power in Collier County. In addition, this event would not have been possible without the incredible support from our strong community partners, Publix and Collier Area Transit.  Thank you to all for making it happen!" said Natalie Combs, Volunteer Coordinator at United Way of Collier County.

Last year, Harry Chapin Food Bank with the support of United Way of Collier County and other funders supplied more than 2.6 million meals to those in need in Collier County.

United Way of Collier County helps 1 out of every 5 residents of Collier County through the four programs we run and our investments in programs at 33 local charities. For more information please call United Way of Collier County at (239) 261-7112 or visit