Emergency COVID-19 Grants Help Community Cooperative Provide Food For The First Few Months Of The Pandemic

Submitted By Holly Boldrin

Community Cooperative received $50,000 in emergency COVID-19 grants, in both March and May, from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, to provide emergency food and other assistance to those affected by the pandemic.

“As part of our response to the crisis created by COVID-19, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation awarded emergency grants to select nonprofits who are working to address some of the most vital needs in our community, including food insecurity,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida director for the foundation. “Community Cooperative has had a long history of successful outcomes and our Foundation is pleased to support their efforts during this time of great need.”

Community Cooperative has seen visits to mobile food pantries triple during the pandemic. With federal unemployment supplements expiring at the end of July, the first mobile food pantry in Cape Coral on Aug. 4 served 415 people. Before the pandemic, food pantries averaged about 150 households per pantry. In August, 17 food pantries are planned, up from 16 in July, with eight new locations.

“The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation’s quick response really helped us enhance our programs quickly to meet the increasing need for food as people were laid off or furloughed and forced to stay-at-home at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Tracey Galloway, chief executive officer of Community Cooperative. “It is because of the significant support from our community partners like the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation that we are able to bridge the gap beyond what we could provide with our normal operating budget.”

Community Cooperative expects the need to continue to grow and is planning for long-term recovery efforts through 2021. For more information or to contribute to the COVID-19 Long Term Recovery Fund, visit CommunityCooperative.com.


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.

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