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Pay-it-forward: Parents who do not need P-EBT food benefits for their children can help others by donating food to Community Cooperative

Community Cooperative is providing an opportunity for parents who do not need extra assistance provided by Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards sent by the Florida Department of Children and Families late last month to donate food to help other families impacted by the pandemic.

P-EBT cards were sent to parents of children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals or attend a school that offers them through the National School Lunch Program. Parents of every child in Lee County public schools did not have to apply or meet income requirements to receive the card in late June with a one-time benefit of $313.50 per child. The non-transferrable cards expire next summer and can be used to buy food at stores that display a Quest or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) logo, including Publix, Target, Walmart, 7-Eleven, Trader Joes and others.

“The new cards for all Lee County children are a huge help for many struggling families,” said Tracey Galloway, chief executive officer of Community Cooperative. “However, some families may not need the extra assistance and are looking to pay it forward with the benefit. Using the cards to donate food to Community Cooperative is an opportunity for families who may not require the assistance to help other families who do.”

Community Cooperative, which has seen visits to mobile food pantries triple during the pandemic, is in need of food donations to meet the growing demand, including peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna and chicken, mayonnaise, macaroni and cheese, cereal, breakfast/granola/snack bars and shelf-stable milk. Because the P-EBT cards are non-transferrable, anyone wishing to donate to Community Cooperative using the cards must buy food with the card and drop items off to Community Cooperative, 3429 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Fort Myers. For information, call 239-332-SOUP or visit CommunityCooperative.com


About Community Cooperative

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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