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Community Asked to Donate Food through Noon Tuesday at WGCU
11/16/2001

FORT MYERS, FL - WGCU-TV and WGCU-FM at Florida Gulf Coast University invites the community to help give a Thanksgiving dinner to hungry people by donating food items all day Monday, Nov. 19 and through noon Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the FGCU Broadcast Building.

“Our local shelters are running dangerously low on food,” outreach coordinator for WGCU, Portia Allen, said. “To ensure the needy have food for the Thanksgiving holiday, WGCU is accepting donations of canned and pre-packaged dry food.”

Allen sent out the call for food to the FGCU community on Thursday and will ensure donated goods are delivered to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of America’s Second Harvest National Food Bank Network, in time for distribution before Thanksgiving. Nearly 160 partner agencies in Southwest Florida receive food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank including churches, community centers, food pantries and children’s shelters.

“This is just a blitz approach and regrettably was not pre-planned,” corporate underwriter coordinator for WGCU, Ernesto Mendible, said. “However, its goal is simply to gather as much as quickly as possible. If we feed even two people this Thanksgiving, we’ll be happy about it.

“It’s no secret that our local shelters are low on food, especially during a holiday that emphasizes feast, family and gratitude for our good fortune. This is a rich and generous nation. Even the least fortunate should count on a T-Day meal.”

Mendible says employees came up with the idea on Thursday morning and by early afternoon, “it just took off.”

“A spot for FM was written and cut by late afternoon and began running shortly thereafter,” Mendible said. “Valerie Alker is also doing a story for FM noting our need for food. She will also mention that WGCU is serving as a distribution point for any food donations to local shelters. All this was possible because our personnel, who have more than enough work on their plates, thought it was important enough to make it happen fast. Tuesday is the deadline because we don’t have the resources available to keep it going an extra day. Please keep in mind that no one here has slowed, or postponed their work to do this.”

Alker’s radio show will air between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday during All Things Considered and again Tuesday morning during Morning Edition.

For more information, contact Mendible at (941) 590-2327 or Allen at (941) 590-2307.

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