CRU Hosts “Summer Drive for Hunger”

Posted in: Press Releases

cru eventFORT MYERS, FL – (June 12, 2015) – Cru Restaurant at the Bell Tower Shops will be hosting a "Summer Drive for Hunger" donation event on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 5-7pm. Cru will be collecting non-perishable food donations and/or cash contributions and provide music, refreshments, raffle prizes, and 10% of the sales from the evening, all in the "fight against summer hunger" in our area. Each person who donates food and/or a cash contribution will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $ 5,000, which will be selected on August 18, 2015, at Sam Galloway Ford.

"We know that summer is a difficult time for many Southwest Florida families and we hope that this donation event will assist the continued need in the community." says Harold Balink, owner and chef of Cru. "We are strong supporters of the Community Cooperative mission and hope greater awareness of this issue will help ease the strain."

Community Cooperative has partnered again with Sam Galloway Ford to ease the strain of summer hunger with the fourth annual "Summer Drive for Hunger." The goal is to collect 25,000 pounds of food and raise $ 25,000 to support the hungry families in our community. Sam Galloway Ford has generously committed to donate $1 for every pound of food donated through August 18th.

Please help a child smile this summer by donating to fight hunger and help keep our pantry shelves full of food. For more information, call 239-332-7687 or www.CommunityCooperative.com.

About Community Cooperative - Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

Community Cooperative Seeks Summer Meals on Wheels Drivers

Posted in: Press Releases

mtam-social-1FORT MYERS, FL – (June 1, 2015) – Community Cooperative is in need of volunteer drivers for its Meals on Wheels program to fill summer vacancy schedules from seasonal drivers.

"We are very appreciative of all our volunteers who give their time and support to the Meals on Wheels program so that our homebound seniors don't go hungry," said Tracey Galloway, CEO for Community Cooperative. "It only takes an hour or two of volunteering to help a senior in need. We are hoping our local families with students or teachers on summer break will select a morning or two to fill in some. It's a great opportunity for businesses in the off-season as well."

Community Cooperative serves more than 400 homebound seniors and more than 8,000 meals each month through its Meals on Wheels program. The agency relies solely on volunteer drivers to cover its current routes and transport delivery to drop-off locations across Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, Estero and Bonita Springs.

Transport drivers are needed to pick up coolers containing hot meals prepared at our MLK location and delivering them to route starting points in South Fort Myers (4 stops), Bonita Springs (1 stop) and North Fort Myers (4 stops). Pick up is at 8:30am Monday through Friday and takes anywhere from 1-2 hours. (An SUV, van or truck is recommended due to the amount of coolers needing transport.) Both Transport and Route Drivers must have current drivers' license and insurance.

Route drivers are needed in the following locations:

1. Central Fort Myers –Departs from our office at MLK Blvd. between 10am -10:30am; makes 12-18 stops; takes an average of 2 hours to complete route. (Five routes need drivers.)

2. Bayshore Road Area (North Fort Myers) –Departs from VIP (Visually Impaired Person's Center).

3. Lehigh Acres – Departs from Lehigh Community Services (Lehigh United Way House).

4. Cape Coral – Depart from the Cape Coral location (1105 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral) – Three routes need drivers.

The Meals on Wheels home delivery program delivers hot, nutritious and well-balanced meals weekday mornings, including extra for the weekend, to Lee County residents who are elderly, ill or disabled and unable to shop or prepare their own food. Drivers provide daily nutrition and contact for homebound residents regardless of their ability to pay.

About Community Cooperative - Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

Community Cooperative Kicks-Off “Summer Drive for Hunger”

Posted in: Press Releases

summer drive for hunger 2015FORT MYERS, FL – (May 12, 2015) – Community Cooperative has partnered again with Sam Galloway Ford to ease the strain of summer hunger with the fourth annual "Summer Drive for Hunger." The goal is to collect 25,000 pounds of food and raise $ 25,000 to support the hungry families in our community.

"For some families, school being out means a certain kind of freedom. For the families we serve, it means just the opposite, "says Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "The summer months can be the cruelest season for families who can't rely on the schools to feed their hungry children. More than 70 percent of Lee County students qualify for free/reduced breakfast and lunch during the school year. One out of every six of our neighbors is food insecure and cannot depend on consistent meals."

The "Summer Drive for Hunger" kicks off with the first of several collection events scheduled for the coming months at Saks Fifth Avenue, located at the Bell Tower Shops. On Thursday, May 14, 2015, from 5-7pm, Saks will be collecting non-perishable food donations and/or cash contributions and provide music, refreshments, raffle prizes, and 10% of the sales from the evening, all in the "fight against summer hunger" in our area. Each person who donates food and/or a cash contribution will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $ 5,000, which will be selected on August 18, 2015, at Sam Galloway Ford.

Sam Galloway Ford has generously committed to donate $1 for every pound of food donated through August 18th. Additionally, several other donation events are scheduled including:

Cru Restaurant Lulu's Gift Emporium

Bell Tower Shops, 13499 S Cleveland Ave #241 9140 West College Pointe Drive, No. B6

Fort Myers, FL 33907 Fort Myers, FL 33919

Thursday, June 25, 2015, from 5-7pm Thursday, July 16, 2015, from 5-7pm

Jennifer's Women's Clothing Store

13451 McGregor Blvd # 1, Fort Myers, FL 33919

During the month of June 2015, with in-store collection event date TBD

Please help a child smile this summer by donating to fight hunger and help keep our pantry shelves full of food. For more information, call 239-332-7687 or www.CommunityCooperative.com.

About Community Cooperative - Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

Galloway Auto Hosts Rummage & Bake Sale

Posted in: Press Releases

Galloway Auto Employees Are "Driven" to Make a Difference in the Community

Hosts a Charitable Rummage and Bake Sale on Saturday, April 25th

copy(Fort Myers, FL, April 15, 2015) –Galloway Auto employees have spearheaded a "Rummage and Bake Sale" to benefit Community Cooperative and the Gulf Coast Humane Society. The event will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 7:00am – 2:00pm at the Sam Galloway Ford Lincoln dealership, located at 1800 Boy Scout Drive, in Fort Myers. All proceeds will assist the programs supported by the two non-profit organizations.

"It makes me very proud that our employees feel a strong sense of supporting the community they live and work in and have decided to put this event together," says Robert Galloway. "They have been collected more than three box trucks full clothing and household items as well baking homemade bakery items."

The event is open to the public and the group is looking for people who would like to volunteer as well as donate items for the sale. If you'd like more information on the event, have items to donate, or would like to volunteer, please contact Sally Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or Jessica Davis at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 239-936-2193 (Sally – ext. 2342 and Jessica – ext. 5508).

More about Community Cooperative:

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information, please call 239-332-7687 or visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.

More about Gulf Coast Humane Society:

Gulf Coast Humane Society, located at 2010 Arcadia Street in Fort Myers, was established as the first non-profit animal welfare organization in southwest Florida in 1947. The 501(c)(3) mission is to rescue, provide safe refuge and compassionate care, and find forever homes for abandoned and neglected animals in the area. GCHS only takes in owner surrendered and transfers from other shelters and rescue groups with a high success rate of adoptions. Their veterinary clinic is open to the public and offers a full array of affordable services six days a week. For more information about the events with the Gulf Coast Humane Society call 239-332-0364 or visit www.gulfcoasthumanesociety.org.

Summer Volunteers Needed

Posted in: Press Releases

Volunteers needed as winter residents prepare to head north

maryellendianereedervolunteersFORT MYERS, FLA. – (April 1, 2015) – Community Cooperative will soon see a 30 percent drop in its volunteer manpower as seasonal residents head back north.

"April showers will bring more than 'May flowers' after the Easter holiday! So many of our most dedicated volunteers at Community Cooperative will head back to their other homes," says Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "We are looking for volunteers at all of our locations, especially our Fort Myers Beach location, where 80% of our volunteers are seasonal residents."

The Fort Myers Beach office is located at Chapel By The Sea Presbyterian Church and has needs in both the kitchen and pantry areas, Monday – Friday, from 6:30am – 9am. "We really head into the time of the year when our client needs are the greatest," says Galloway.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of the following locations, you must first complete a volunteer application and background check prior to scheduling your volunteer hours. Applications are accepted for adults 16 years of age or older, and children between the ages of 12-15 may volunteer if they are accompanied by an adult. Lee County school students who are seeking Community Service Hours are encouraged to apply. Small groups (2-5) can be accommodated, as well. No prior experience is required. Completed application, background check and proper attire is required.

Location: Days: Hours: Duties:

Fort Myers Beach M – F 6:30am – 9:00am Kitchen, pantry

FMyers (MLK) M-F 6:30am -2:30pm Various shifts, including Meal on Wheels

Sat. Some shifts available Packaging, Garden, Pantry, Kitchen

Click HERE to access the forms needed!

 For more information, call Maggie Pirelli, Volunteer Coordinator at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information, please call 239-332-7687.

March for Meals Community Champions Week

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Community Cooperative to Host "March for Meals - Community Champions Week" March 16-20, 2015

mfm2015FORT MYERS, FL. (March 12, 2015) – Community Cooperative, Inc. announced that it will be hosting Community Champions Week as part of its "March for Meals" campaign. Area dignitaries will be participating in the event to show their support for our community's homebound and hungry seniors.

According to Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative, the need within the Southwest Florida community continues to grow. "The need for Meals on Wheels has never been greater in Lee County, where one in six seniors is threatened by hunger and faces daily food insecurity. This hunger problem is particularly pressing in our area, where so many retirees find they are unable to meet the rising cost of food on top of sometimes serious and debilitating medical conditions and diminished mobility. Currently, our Meals on Wheels Program delivers over 400 hot meals every day to the local area homebound community," says Galloway. "Many times we provide the only hot meal and social interaction for this segment of the community each day. Our annual numbers are reaching over the 100,000 meals delivered mark and continue to grow."

"March for Meals" is a national campaign during the month of March, initiated by the Meals On Wheels Association of America, which seeks to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of the local community.

Senior Nutrition Programs across the United States, like Community Cooperative, promote March for Meals in their local communities through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives. Community Champions Week is a component of March for Meals that utilizes the involvement of local Mayors and other local personalities.

Meals on Wheels of Lee County, has over 600 dedicated volunteers who prepare, package and deliver hot nutritious meals every day to our seniors in need. These kindhearted souls also deliver caring and companionship to meet the emotional needs of our clients. For many this is the only human contact they will have each day, so Meals on Wheels is an important program that supports independence and provides a sense of security to our clients. Clients are able to stay in their own homes and communities where they are most comfortable.

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information, call 239-332-7687, ext. 6 or visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.

MENU DONORS FOR 12th ANNUAL SOUP KITCHEN BENEFIT ANNOUNCED

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sk web image 2015FORT MYERS, FL. (February 20, 2015) – Menu donors for this year's annual Soup Kitchen Benefit have been announced.

Sam Galloway Jr. & Friends Annual Soup Kitchen Benefit will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Sam Galloway Ford, located off Boy Scout Drive and Summerlin Road. Cocktails start off the evening at 6pm, with dinner at 7:00pm. The Gulf Coast Symphony, led by Maestro Andrew Kurtz, will present "Gershwin, Berlin & More!"

This year's menu, which is donated by local restaurants and individuals, includes Appetizers from Sandy Stilwell of SS Hookers and Sunshine Grille and The Rao Family of Mastello Ristorante and A Touch of Italy Market; Caesar Salad from Will Prather of The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre; Bar-B-Que Chicken and Sauce from Jim Stewart of Jim Bob's Bar-B-Que; BBQ Pork & Swamp Cabbage from Wesley & Deanna Hansen; Fried Shrimp & Cheese Grits from John & Paul Browning of The Three Fishermen Restaurants; Gourmet Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes from Jordan Webster of J. G. Webster's Catering; Broasted Chicken by Steve & Jeanne Sexton of The Alva Diner; Peas & Rice, Corn Bread & Hot Pepper Sauce from Bill & Janice Barnwell of The Farmer's Market Restaurant; Green Beans and Banana Pudding from Reuben Sliva and Arvey Krise of Reuben's Smokehouse; Okra & Tomatoes from Kim & Jack Avery of The Main Event Catering; Collard Greens from The Soup Kitchen at Community Cooperative; Desserts from Norman & Mary Love of Norman Love Confections and Uncle Charlies' Cookie Ministry; and Beverages from Mast Family Culligan and The Mitchell Family of Suncoast Beverage.

The goal of this event is to raise over $450,000 for Community Cooperative, the umbrella agency for the Community Cafés and Markets, the Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, Healthy School Pantry and Food Literacy in Pre-School (FLIP) programs, Mobile Food Pantries, and Social and Education Resource Centers for area hungry and homeless residents in need. The event has sold out for several years and continues to be one of the signature events in our community.

According to Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative, the need within the Southwest Florida community continues to grow. "There are over 3,400 documented homeless individuals in Lee County; more than 1,200 are children," says Galloway. "Our mission is to end hunger and homelessness in Lee County by addressing the root causes and finding sustainable solutions to achieve long term success for our clients."

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs and offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information, call 239-332-7687, ext. 6 or visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.

Community Cooperative Names New Board Members

Posted in: Press Releases

Fort Myers, FL. (February 17, 2015) -- Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative, announces that Keith Banasiak, Regional VP of the Southwest Florida division of Waste Pro, and Ty Roland, Aloia, Roland & Lubell, LLP, have been elected to the nonprofit's Board of Directors.

"We are so fortunate to have Keith and Ty join our Community Cooperative leadership team," said Galloway. "They both bring unique business perspectives and understanding of our community that will greatly keith banasiakbenefit our agency."

Mr. Banasiak is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in Business Administration and is a manager of the Waste Pro facilities in Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Citrus and Levy counties in Florida with service to over 200,000 residential homes and 10,000 commercial accounts. Keith and his wife Gina have two children.

   

 

ty rolandMr. Roland has practiced personal injury and wrongful death law in Lee County since 1995, forming Aloia, Roland & Lubell, LLP, in 2004. He graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992 and from Nova Southeastern School of Law with his Juris Doctor degree in 1995. Ty and his wife Angie have three children.

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs. Community Cooperative offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers and oversees emergency mobile food pantries as well as Healthy School Pantries and Food Literacy in Preschool (FLIP) through its Growing Health Kids Programs.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information, please call 239-332-7687, ext. 6, or visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.