Community Cooperative plans the 19th Annual Soup Kitchen Benefit March 10, 2022. Each year, local restaurants prepare and serve southern-style dinner to more than 700 guests at the annual Sam Galloway, Jr. & Friends Soup Kitchen Benefit in the service garages of Sam Galloway Ford in Fort Myers.
In 2021, the event was held in May after Sam Galloway, Jr., who started the event, passed away. A record number of attendees raised a record $1.22 million for Community Cooperative to support its vital programs that include Meals on Wheels, Soup Kitchen, mobile food pantries and social service programs. The Community Café, known as the Fort Myers soup kitchen, was renamed at the event to Sam’s Community Café & Kitchen to honor his legacy of raising money and helping to feed the hungry in Southwest Florida.
The organization helped more people in the six weeks after the pandemic shutdown than during the entire previous year, with a 480% increase in services by the end of 2020. In 2021, Community Cooperative assisted more than 85,000 individuals through feeding and social service programs.
While the need for food assistance has declined slightly since the height of the pandemic, higher grocery prices now are resulting in another rise in people seeking food assistance. In 2020, more than 38 million people in the U.S. lived in households with limited access to adequate food.
Each year, about 150 volunteers, along with 20 area restaurants help contribute to the event’s success. Service at the garages continues the morning of the event, and volunteers transform the space for the evening. The next morning, the service garage is back in full swing.
For information, visit CommunityCooperative.com/events/.
About Community Cooperative
For 37 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 Tami Holliday at Tami@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.