The Harry Chapin Food Bank vouches for turkeys this Thanksgiving

The Harry Chapin Food Bank will provide gift cards for clients to purchase turkeys or other food for Thanksgiving this year.

The food bank is spending $45,000 for 4,500 gift cards, valued at $10 each, to be distributed among clients at its partner agencies, said Kari Lefort, director of programs.  The cards are designated for the purchase of food at either Publix Super Markets or Winn Dixie stores, and cannot be used to buy tobacco or alcohol, she said.

Switching to gift cards is both more economical and efficient because when the food bank purchases turkeys in bulk it must pay full price instead of at the sale prices offered by various super markets. So a 10-pound turkey that would cost the food bank about $11 could cost just under $7 when purchased at the pre-Thanksgiving sale price by a client using a gift card.

This approach also helps clients who do not eat turkey for their holiday purchase other food and partner agencies that have no refrigeration to store turkeys at their sites, Lefort said.

The food bank also is taking holiday bird donations from the public. The donated turkeys will be given to agencies that did not receive all of the gift cards they requested. Agencies requested 16,000 gift cards, but the food bank could only afford to purchase 4,500 cards.  

Those who wish to donate birds can drop them off at the food bank’s Fort Myers warehouse or Naples warehouse. Here are the addresses and drop-off hours:


3760 Fowler St.

Fort Myers, FL


Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

(Please bring donations no later than 3:30 p.m.)


2221 Corporation Blvd.,

Naples, FL


Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday & Friday

8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday & Thursday

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