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Blessings in a Backpack feeds nearly 10,000 children since Ian

Donations needed to continue feeding local children in need

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 12, 2022) – Hurricane Ian ripped through our beautiful Southwest Florida community, leaving much damage and disruption, including Blessings in a Backpack SWFL’s efforts to feed children in need on the weekends while they cannot access meals at school. Families are now without homes and jobs, and thousands of children are left wondering where their next meal will come from. The need for assistance in Southwest Florida has grown exponentially since Hurricane Ian. Blessings in a Backpack SWFL, along with its community partners, have been working together to find new ways to distribute food, reaching 9,600 local kids in need since the storm.

“Many children and families in Southwest Florida are food insecure, and Hurricane Ian has served to exacerbate this issue,” said Cecilia St. Arnold, Executive Director for Blessings in a Backpack SWFL. “It is estimated that nearly 2,000 children in our community have been displaced and are in need of our services. Blessings and our partners are so grateful to be able to come together and find alternative ways to focus on what is truly important, getting these children access to food during this disaster.”

Blessings in a Backpack typically provides nutritious food in student’s backpacks every Friday to feed them over the weekend when they are not receiving meals during school. With classes shut down and many schools in need of repair, these students have not been able to rely on daily school meals, or the weekend distribution provided by the nonprofit. Thankfully, Blessings in a Backpack has worked relentlessly to partner with other organizations in the community to help feed local children facing food insecurity among other challenges resulting from the storm.

“It is imperative, now more than ever, to support local charities. A donation of only $130 will provide meals for 36 weekends for one school-age child,” said St. Arnold.

Please consider making a donation to feed more Southwest Florida children at

Blessings in a Backpack helps prevent childhood hunger

Blessings in a Backpack SWFL serves over 6,200 students through 28 school-based programs located throughout Lee and Collier Counties. In these schools, test scores, reading skills, positive behavior, general health, and school attendance have improved dramatically due in part to students receiving the nourishment they need throughout the week and the weekends.

Kids are our future; you can help secure theirs. A $130 donation will feed a child for one full school year. Gifts of all sizes are welcome through the donations portal at or via mail at P.O. Box 61402 Fort Myers, FL 33906. All contributions are tax-deductible.

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