Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Inc.
3760 Fowler Street
Fort Myers FL 33901
To overcome hunger in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties through education and by working in a cooperative effort with partner agencies in the procurement and distribution of food, equitably and without discrimination.
CEO/Executive Director Richard LeBer
Board Chair Keith Scoggins Jr.
Board Chair Affiliation Retired, attorney, General Counsel Farm Credit System
General Info
Former Names
Lee County Food Cooperative
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1983
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Apr 2017
State Registration Yes Apr 2017
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $37,874,000.00
Projected Expenses $37,293,000.00
Impact Statement

The Harry Chapin Food Bank (HCFB) distributes fresh, nutritious food to our neighbors in need through a network of more than 150 partner agencies that operate soup kitchens, emergency shelters and other programs. Each month we help feed 30,000 people, 40% of whom are children and 10% are seniors. 

Although unemployment rates are dropping, many clients still need support because they work in low-paying service industry jobs or can only find part-time or seasonal employment. Our clients often have to choose between paying bills or putting food on the table. Food is often sacrificed in this equation. 

Our top accomplishments in fiscal year (FY) 2015 were providing 18.4 million pounds food to clients, which is the equivalent of 15.3 million meals with a food value of $31.3 million. More than 6,500 volunteers provided 53,160 services hours with a private-sector value of $1.2 million.

 Other accomplishments included: 

  • Providing 6.5 million pounds of fresh produce.
  • Increasing Mobile Food Pantry program distribution by providing 362 distributions.
  • Receiving American Institute of Baking (AIB) food safety certification. 
  • Achieving the highest rating (4 stars) for the 6th consecutive year, from the nonprofit watchdog group Charity Navigator, for efficiency, transparency, accountability and cost-effectiveness.
  Our main goals for fiscal year 2016 are to:
  • Boost overall food distribution by 10%.
  • Increase our truck fleet to acquire and distribute more fresh produce and other nutritious food.
  • Increase funding by at least 5%.
  • Increase the number of partner agencies in our network. 
  • Increase the number of Mobile Food Pantry distribution events.
  • Increase food distribution through the Mobile Food Pantry program.
  • Maintain AIB certification.
Needs Statement

The acquisition and distribution of food are ongoing challenges for the food bank. The following is an outline of food bank needs:

  1. Increase food acquisition from farmers, growers and retail/grocery stores.
  2. Increase food distribution through the Fresh Produce Program, retail store pick-up, Mobile Food Pantry programs and donated food. 
  3. Capacity-Building – The food bank is in need of replacing and expanding the aging truck fleet and replacing inefficient food handling equipment. 
  4. Increase funding by at least 5%.
  5. Increase the number of partner agencies in our network. 
Background Statement

The Harry Chapin Food Bank was started in 1983. The food bank was originally known as the Lee County Food Cooperative. The cooperative's primary responsibility was to help distribute the federal government's surpluses of cheese and other dairy products, which were known as government cheese distributions or commodities. A few years into the program, the amount of food began to decline, and the Board of Directors decided to create a community food bank to recover and distribute food that would have gone to waste otherwise. The Southwest Florida Food Bank struggled at first to serve 18 Lee County agencies, distributing fewer than 200,000 pounds of food between late 1990 and early 1991. The food bank persevered, though, and in 1995, the family of the late singer and anti-hunger advocate Harry Chapin allowed the food bank to use his name. The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida was born. Two years later, in 1997, the Harry Chapin Food Bank earned "certified affiliate" status from the Second Harvest National Food Bank Network, which is now known as Feeding America, the nation's largest nonprofit hunger-relief organization.

Today, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida is the area's largest food bank. As such, the food bank is the primary safety net for Southwest Floridians facing hunger and a lack of access to nutritious food. Through a network of  more than 150 nonprofit partner agencies, the Harry Chapin Food Bank provides food to more than 30,000 Southwest Floridians every month. Approximately 40% of our clients are children and 10% are seniors.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- Lee
Areas Served Comments
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida serves Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte and Collier counties.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
Secondary Org Type Human Services
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
In recent years, the Harry Chapin Food Bank Board of Directors has focused on the adoption of good governance practices.  We know that exceptional boards are mission-driven and allocate their time to what matters most, so we do our best to create an environment that will make this happen.  As an example, to ensure that a substantial portion of each Board meeting is devoted to strategic thinking, we handle much of the director education piece beforehand.  Prior to each Board meeting, our Board members receive and review written reports of operational results since the last meeting.  Examples are: committee minutes, financial reports, food distribution reports, community contacts and marketing reports.  While some meeting time is spent on questions about the reports, this process enables us to spend more meeting time on strategic priorities. Other examples of governance practices adopted in recent years include:

• A committee structure under which committees composed of Board members, and in some instances staff and community experts, focus on a particular area, such as Governance, Finance or Marketing and Development. The committees file written reports and make recommendations to the Board.

• A comprehensive Board Recruitment and Nominations Policy, which specifies desirable director skills, Board diversity requirements, Board member duties and the process by which Board member candidates are identified, nominated and elected.
• An annual Board Skills Survey to identify current Board members’ skills.
• An annual Board Self-Evaluation to assess Board performance, strengths and weaknesses.
• A periodic report that tracks Board member meeting attendance and other performance.
• An annual Strategic Planning Session used to update, and in some years re-work, our multi-year Strategic Plan.
We believe that strong governance practices help create an environment that will assist the Board in carrying out its oversight responsibilities.
Keith Scoggins
Board Chairman
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

The Harry Chapin Food Bank continues to make significant progress in the fight to end hunger. Because we rescue food that would otherwise go to waste, we have unique leverage, and are able to turn every dollar donated into $8 worth of food in the hands of agencies who feed the hungry. Our work is not without its challenges. We are working diligently to ensure that there is enough food available to feed everyone in our area who needs it. It is always a challenge to find food. We are always working to expand our food sources, whether from wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, retail stores, growers, or local food sourcing and food drives.

Even so, our primary challenge is finding practical ways to distribute the food and the other services where they are needed. Logistics matter – people who are hungry need immediate help in a convenient and appropriate way. To this end, we are working to expand programs to meet the specific needs of the various groups we serve and to expand distribution through mobile pantries, school-based pantries and other channels.

We are also working with our agencies throughout Southwest Florida to expand their capabilities and capacity, so that clients receive the assistance and support they need to raise themselves out of poverty and hunger, and so that the food we source and distribute makes it quickly, efficiently, and safely into the hands of those who need it. All of our work requires funding, of course. We work every day to help people in our community understand what we do, and how our work helps hungry Southwest Floridians.


Mobile Food Pantry Program:  HCFB launched the Mobile Food Pantry program (MFP) in 2010. The MFP program was designed to assist low-income individuals and families who live in areas where access to grocery stores, traditional food pantries and public transportation is limited. 

Refrigerated trucks used for Mobile Food Pantries contain an average of 6,000 pounds of food and fresh produce. Approximately 200 families/households, representing more than 400 children, are served at each distribution event. Families select grocery items such as frozen meat, bread, rice, cereal, fresh vegetables and fruit, averaging 40 pounds of food per household.
Budget $809,000
Category Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success
Short-term goals are to distribute approximately 6,000 pounds of food to about 200 families at each distribution. The food bank schedules approximately five distributions a week.
Long Term Success
Mobile pantries distribute approximately 6,000 pounds of food to an average of 200 families per distribution. The intent of this program is to assure that those in need receive emergency food quickly. The food bank typically schedules distributions through partner agencies. These agencies inform the clients of the upcoming distributions.
In fiscal year 2015, Mobile Food Pantries distributed 3.1 million pounds of food at 362 distribution events.
Program Success Monitoring
Clients report their name, number of children, adults and seniors in the household on a distribution registration form. The food bank uses the registration forms to determine how many people were served at each MFP distribution. Additionally, the food bank monitors the partner agencies to ensure they are complying with food safety standards and other requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Feeding America, the food bank's national affiliate. 
Program Success Examples
The food bank distributed 3.1 million pounds of food through this program in fiscal year 2015.

We hear seniors report needing to ration their medications so they can afford groceries. Recent hospital studies have discovered that repeat trips to the emergency room by seniors are often diet-related due to not having nutritious food at home necessary for sustaining wellness. Clients often share how the food made a difference in their lives.  “I won’t have to cut my pills in half this month,” stated a Mobile Food Pantry senior, after receiving several bags of fresh produce, meat and other food items. “I can eat now and put the rest in the freezer for later,” she happily reported.


Fresh Produce: The food bank began the Fresh Produce program in 2008 with the intent of providing clients with more fresh fruits and vegetables. That year, the food bank distributed more than 69,000 pounds of fresh produce, collected through area farmers, retailers, Feeding America suppliers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other sources. The fresh produce program continues to expand annually, with fiscal year 2015 distribution climbing to more than 6.5 million pounds.

Budget $864,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success
The short-term goal is to increase fresh produce distributions in all 5 counties.
Long Term Success

According to the latest available figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of households having access to enough food (food security) for an active and healthy life has not returned to pre-Great Recession levels.

"While we're starting to see some improvements in the economy, food insecurity stays at stubbornly high levels," said Elaine Waxman, head of research for Feeding America, our national food bank affiliate.

According to Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap 2014, 15% of Southwest Florida residents and 27% of children face hunger during some part of the year. Consequently, one in four children faces greater obstacles to reaching their fullest potential. Food insecurity is harmful to all people, but it is particularly devastating to children. Proper nutrition is critical to a child’s development. Not having enough of the right kinds of food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity. 

When hunger threatens the future of a child, it threatens the future of our community as well. Hunger affects all people and all ages. The productivity of our country would  improve greatly if we addressed this root issue and were able to help feed everyone in need.

Program Success Monitoring
The Operations Department monitors the amount and types of food the food bank acquires and distributes. It weighs these donations and the amount distributed to ensure that distribution goals are being met.
Program Success Examples
More than 6.5 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were distributed in fiscal year 2015.

Retail Store Donations: The food bank has established partnerships with more than 140 grocery/retail stores, including Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Target. In fiscal year 2015, HCFB rescued 7.7 million pounds of food; of that amount, 7.0 million was able to be distributed to clients. This is the equivalent of 5.8 million meals, with a food value of $11.8 million. In fiscal year 2015, retail store donations accounted for 38% of the food distributed.

Budget $450,000
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Families Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success
The short-term goal is to increase partnerships with  more retail stores and grocers to increase the pounds of food donated. 
Long Term Success
The long-term goal is to increase the pounds of food donated from retailers in all 5 counties.
Program Success Monitoring
The program is monitored by the Operations Department, which tracks the number of participating stores and the amount of their donations. Drivers are assigned to particular routes.
Program Success Examples
 In fiscal year 2015, HCFB rescued 7.7 million pounds of food; of that amount, 7.0 million was able to be distributed to clients. This is the equivalent of 5.8 million meals, with a food value of $11.8 million. In fiscal year 2015, retail store donations accounted for 38% of the food distributed.

SNAP Outreach: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is a short-term resource for families to acquire nutritious foods at local grocery stores. The food bank’s outreach staff helps clients apply for the SNAP assistance, which is administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Budget $99,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success
The short-term goal is to increase the number of applications submitted for SNAP assistance in all 5 counties.
Long Term Success
The long-term goal is to offer assistance with SNAP applications, particularly in underserved areas.
Program Success Monitoring
The food bank works with clients to submit applications to the state Department of Children and Families, which administers and monitors the program.
Program Success Examples
The food bank's applicant approval rate is 85%. Statewide, the approval rate is 67%.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Richard LeBer
CEO Term Start Feb 2016
CEO/Executive Director Email rleber@harrychapinfoodbank.org

President and CEO Richard LeBer has a long career of community involvement, transformation and impact, with deep experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, particularly food banking, fundraising, board leadership, strategy and operations. LeBer has held numerous leadership positions, including interim executive director of the Florida Association of Food Banks, vice president at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and CEO of National Linen Service. 

LeBer is on the advisory board of the Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Executives in Georgia, past chairman of the board of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and former board member of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. LeBer is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Waterloo in Canada. LeBer is married and has two grown children. 


Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Eric Hitzeman Operations Director
Kari LaFort Programs Director
Dave Najar Director of Administration, Technology, Finance
Miriam Pereira Development Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 50
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 89
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 6500
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

As the largest food bank in Southwest Florida, HCFB collaborates with more than 150 nonprofit partner agencies in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee countries for the distribution of food to 28,000 people each week.  

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)
Florida Public Relations Association
United Way Member Agency
Florida Association of Food Banks
Feeding America
Fresh From Florida
Christian Chamber of Commerce
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce
External Assessments and Accreditations
Charity Navigator2016
American Institute of Baking (AIB)2016
Awards & Recognition
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2016
AIB CertificationAmerican Institute of Baking2016
GuideStar Exchange Platinum participation levelGuideStar USA, Inc.2016
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 1
Strategic Plan Adopted July 2016
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Multi-Media Comments by Organization


Board Chair
Board Chair Keith Scoggins Jr.
Company Affiliation Retired, attorney, General Counsel Farm Credit System
Board Term July 2014 to June 2017
Board Chair Email kscoggi@yahoo.com
Board Members
Board Members
John D. Clinger Volunteer
William Dillon Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Craig Folk Miller, Helms, and Folk (CPA)
David Fry Community Volunteer
Gary Gardner Volunteer
Curtis Holaway Retired
Jan-Erik Hustrulid Owen-Ames-Kimball Company
C. Robert Leadbetter Volunteer
Maura Matzko Community Volunteer
Pat Nevins Volunteer
Anne Rose Lee Memorial Health System
Bianca Ross Drug Free Hendry County Community Coalition
P.Keith Scoggins Jr.Attorney, Retired General Counsel Farm Credit System
Lois Thome WINK News Anchor
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 10
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 85
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $37,874,000.00
Projected Expenses $37,293,000.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $27,447.00
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$1,971,170$2,332,570$352,150
Individual Contributions$30,346,647$27,449,039$2,192,454
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,396$2,434$1,225
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$1,432,775$1,607,579$1,569,109
Revenue In-Kind$28,140,172$26,811,021$23,417,464
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$32,441,604$31,148,681$27,645,443
Administration Expense$299,663$840,168$221,127
Fundraising Expense$887,676$0$482,436
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.021.011.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses96%97%98%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%0%11%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$8,931,040$8,116,317$8,116,317
Current Assets$4,106,424$3,027,707$3,027,707
Long-Term Liabilities$2,184,957$2,374,511$2,374,511
Current Liabilities$557,253$452,103$452,103
Total Net Assets$6,189,830$5,289,703$5,289,703
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $30,346,647Contributions, gifts, grants $27,449,039Food Contributions $23,379,564
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Unspecified $1,971,170Government Grants - Federal $2,178,050Contributions, gifts, grants $2,192,454
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $1,432,775Fundraising $1,607,579Fundraising $1,569,109
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.376.706.70
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets24%29%29%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from audited financial statements.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.  Financial information for 2015 taken solely from the Federal tax return as the uploaded audited financial statements include only the cover letter from the auditors and no financial information.
Nonprofit Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Inc.
Address 3760 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, FL 34109
Phone 239 334-7007