Community Cooperative to Participate in Nationwide 2016 March For Meals

Posted in: Press Releases

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SUPPORT WILL HELP TO FIGHT SENIOR ISOLATION AND HUNGER IN LEE COUNTY

Fort Myers, FL. (February 25, 2016) – Community Cooperative announced today that it will be participating in the 14th annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and the homebound and vulnerable seniors who rely on its vital safety net. Community Cooperative's March for Meals celebration will include a donut party for our driver volunteers, surprises for our program participants, a week of celebrity volunteers and much more.

"The services that we provide the seniors of Lee County are critical and the need is rapidly increasing," said Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "Together, we can keep seniors living independently, healthier at home and feeling more connected to their community as they age."

This annual awareness campaign is an effort to fill the gap between the seniors served and those in need that is widening due to increased demand with a rapidly aging population combined with declining public and private resources, and rising food, transportation and operational costs. This March, Community Cooperative is reaching out across Lee County to build the support that will enable them to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to community seniors all year long.

For more information on how you can volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in Lee County and across the country, visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.

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.

Menu Donors Announced for Soup Kitchen Benefit

Posted in: Press Releases

save the date brownFORT MYERS, FL. (February 26, 2016) – 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 10, 2016 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.

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; Garden 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; Collards, Corn Bread & Hot Pepper Sauce from Chip & Betsy 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 The Soup Kitchen at Community Cooperative; Desserts from Norman & Mary Love of Norman Love Confections and Uncle Charlies' Cookie Ministry; and Beverages from The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon, 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 Southwest Florida community.

To purchase a seat or sponsorship for the event, or for more information, please contact Nicole Rieg at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.

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 groups, churches and businesses.

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

Suncoast Credit Union Sponsors Empty Bowls Event

Posted in: Press Releases

suncoast credit unionFort Myers, FL. (January 29, 2016)—Community Cooperative is pleased to announce Suncoast Credit Union as the presenting sponsor of the 2016 Empty Bowls fundraiser. The event is set to take place on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Alliance for the Arts. In addition to Suncoast Credit Union, the Lee Arts Education Program will also be collaborating with this year's event to raise hunger awareness through art. One of a kind handcrafted ceramic bowls made by Lee County school children will be available for purchase at the event as a reminder of those that go website graphichungry right here in Lee County.

"We are very excited to partner Suncoast Credit Union for this event," said Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "Their organization has such a positive impact on the youth in our community. Suncoast Credit Union is a great fit for Empty Bowls as we raise money and awareness for our children-based programs. Their future is our future."

This year's event will also feature a soup cook-off, soup sampling, family friendly activities, dance performances by local schools and organizations and more to support Community Cooperative's mission to end hunger and homelessness in Lee County. Admission is free and wristbands for the soup sampling will be available for purchase for a small donation at the event. Money raised at the event will benefit Community Cooperative's Healthy School Pantry and FLIP (Food Literacy in Preschool) programs.

To register as a participant of the soup cook-off, or for more information about sponsorship, please contact Nicole Rieg at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 239-332-7687 x101.

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, call 239-332-7687 x101 or visit www.communitycooperative.com.

Subaru Share the Love Helps Meals On Wheels

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TODAY MARKS THE START OF THE 8TH ANNUAL SHARE THE LOVE EVENT!

Community Cooperative is proud to announce its partnership with O'Brien Subaru this holiday season to help fight senior isolation and hunger, one Subaru at a time. Subaru's "Share the Love" event helps deliver nutritious meals and compassion to southwest Florida seniors.

Community Cooperative helped raise community awareness and participation to support local seniors in need. This local effort is part of the Meals On Wheels Association of America's participation in Subaru of America, Inc.'s national year-end "Share the Love" event, designed as a way to give back to local communities.

As a proud Subaru "Share the Love" event charitable partner, local Meals On Wheels Member programs that partner with Subaru retailers are eligible to earn grants of up to $20,000. This can provide an extra layer of support to help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to seniors in our community.

"Subaru and Meals on Wheels have worked together since 2008, helping deliver more than 1.2 million meals, friendly visits and safety checks to America's seniors," said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. "We are truly honored to be one of Subaru's long-standing national charities for the eighth consecutive year. The substantial support generated through the Share the Love Event ensures that our seniors are not forgotten."

For every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from November 19, 2015, through January 2, 2016, Subaru will donate $250 to the purchaser's choice of participating charity – one of which being Meals on Wheels. By the end of this year, Subaru and its retailers will have donated more than $65 million to charity through the Share the Love Event.

About Meals On Wheels Association of America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America's seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org

Community Cooperative and PACE Partner For Innovative Food Choices for Students

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school-lunch-healthyFORT MYERS, FL. (September 4, 2015) – Community Cooperative and PACE Center for Girls of Lee County are collaborating to provide fresh, homemade meals for the students at the school in association with the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative, says, "Community Cooperative recently underwent a kitchen expansion at our Fort Myers campus that provided the opportunity to receive new accreditation as an approved catering and food service vendor.   We can now provide healthy alternatives to local schools and other agencies receiving meals at reasonable prices."

"Each school day, we deliver breakfast and lunch freshly prepared using regional or locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables," says Meghan Madden, Division Director of Food Programs at Community Cooperative.  "Our goal is to expose the girls to new flavors that are both fresh and healthy by providing innovative and creative food choices."

As a participant in the NSLP, the PACE schools is reimbursed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for each lunch and breakfast meal served provided they meet established state and federal regulations and is provided by an approved vendor, such as Community Cooperative.

"The students are thrilled by the change in the food program," said Meg Geltner, Executive Director of PACE.  "They are eating the meals because they like what they are being served and, while the food tastes good, it's great to know that it is healthy for them as well.  The food is sustainable and they can learn better when they aren't hungry!"

"We know that children experiencing food insecurity are at greater risk for truancy, poor grades and drop outs," says Galloway.  "We want to make the meals provided to the PACE students to be their best meal of the day."

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, Community Marketplace, and Community & School Mobile Markets as well as 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 the greater Fort Myers area with campuses in Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach and mobile services in Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, and Lehigh Acres. 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.

STATE FARM GIVES GRANT TO COMMUNITY

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To sponsor Financial Literacy Education Classes

statefarm2015FORT MYERS, FL. (August 21, 2015) – Community Cooperative has recently received a $ 1,500 grant from State Farm Insurance. The funds will be used in the Social and Education Resource Program's Financial Literacy Classes held each month at Community Cooperative.

Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative, says, "The intended outcome of this program is for low income clients to gain the knowledge and skills to manage their money so that they can meet basic needs and then work toward positive change in their lives. Our hope is that the attendees will improve their lives financially and provide an overall improvement in their quality of life."

"We are very excited to support the programs provided at Community Cooperative for their clients," said Dawn Sullivan, State Farm agent from Cape Coral. "The programs that Community Cooperative offers their clients really make a difference and we are proud to support those efforts."

The financial literacy classes are one of many supported by social services included in a plan created between Community Cooperative life coaches and clients. This plan sets goals for achieving long term solutions to hunger and homelessness by learning new life skills in nutrition, money management, budget setting and other areas. This comprehensive approach to providing financial literacy education along with emergency food support and additional social services as needed, helps empower families to make positive change and become self-sufficient.

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, Community Marketplace, and Community & School Mobile Markets as well as 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 the greater Fort Myers area with campuses in Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach and mobile services in Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, and Lehigh Acres. 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.

Becoming Cosmopolitan: Havana Nights For October 15th at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

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2015 save the date

REGISTER HERE!!

Sponsorships now available for women's event benefiting the agency's

Women & Children's Programming.

FORT MYERS, FL (July 17, 2015) – Community Cooperative has announced that the 10th annual Becoming Cosmopolitan event will take place Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. This year's event will feature the theme, Havana Nights and will be held at The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in the Fort Myers River District.

"We are so thrilled to be bringing Becoming Cosmopolitan back to the Davis Art Center, truly one of the most beautiful buildings in Fort Myers." said Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "And we are so excited about our theme: Havana Nights," she added. "We are looking forward to showcasing some of the mystique and beauty of Cuba right here in downtown Fort Myers."

"Add in great cuisine, cocktails, and salsa dancers, all in support of a great cause, and you've got what Becoming Cosmopolitan is all about," added Galloway.

This traditionally women-only evening features shopping with local vendors, gourmet cuisine and cocktails, sinfully delicious desserts, a silent auction, exciting raffles, great music and an after party all in celebration of the cosmopolitan lifestyle in Southwest Florida. Over 300 local women attended last fall's Becoming Cosmopolitan event.

"Each year we have been able to make this event bigger and better than ever," said Katie Haas, Director of Florida Operations for the Boston Red Sox and Community Cooperative Board Member. "The monies raised will go a remarkably long way in helping Community Cooperative assist the growing number of women and children who are in need of food, shelter, and other social services."

Sponsorships are now available and range from $1,000 to $10,000. Donations for the event's silent and live auctions are also being accepted. Tickets will go on sale in mid-August.

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, call (239) 332-7687, ext. 6 or visit www.CommunityCooperative.com.

Community Cooperative Receives $2,000 for Meals on Wheels America’s 2015 March for Meals

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mfm2015Funding for the 13th Annual Awareness Campaign Made Possible by Subaru of America, Inc.'s "Share the Love" Event

Fort Myers, FL, June 17, 2015 – Community Cooperative is proud to announce that it has received a $2,000 grant from Meals on Wheels America for its participation in the 13th Annual March for Meals campaign. This year's grants were made possible through the generosity of Subaru of America, Inc. and its seventh annual "Share the Love" event. During the event, Subaru donated $250 to the owner's choice of participating charities for every new vehicle purchased or leased.

"We are very pleased to have received the grant from the MOWA and Subaru," says Tracey Galloway, executive director of Community Cooperative. "We said we will use the funding to provide meals for low-income seniors who cannot pay for meals. We hope to raise awareness of senior isolation and hunger in our community."

For more information or to find out how you can volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program, please contact Community Cooperative at (239) 332-7687 and speak with Stacey Cannington (Community Relations) or Maggie Pirelli (Volunteer Coordinator).

mowaCommunity 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.

About Meals on Wheels America (formerly Meals On Wheels Association of America)

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America's seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.