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Chamber, businesses serve those in need weeks after hurricane hits

September 27, 2017
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Groups in Lehigh Acres groups continued to offer free meals and more last week after Hurricane Irma.

On Sept. 22, the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce partnered up with Healthy Harvest Community Farms and Service King Collision Repair to host a dinner at the Mirror Lakes Golf Club. Residents turned out to get a hot meal, as well as cold beverages and bottled water.

It was the second dinner that the groups had hosted in an effort to aid those in need after the storm. According to Joe Pearson, chief executive officer of Healthy Harvest Community Farms, volunteers had already served over 100 people and had planned to see countless more throughout the evening.

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Volunteers serve up hot dinners for those still in need Sept. 22 at the Mirror Lakes Golf Club.

He added that the dinners may become an ongoing event for the community.

"I've already requested that we continue to host this event every Friday at the country club," Pearson said.

Service King provided the hot dogs and hamburgers, and the Gulf Coast Humane Society supplied pet food. Attendees could also pick up supplies like toiletries, baby diapers, wipes, formula and food.

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According to Ed Moore, the chamber's board chair, more help and supplies are on the way.

"We are expecting a couple of palettes next week. One of the items is a six-pack cooler, which is made to help keep formula and milk cold," he said.

According to Moore, a group from Atlanta, Georgia, is coming this week to volunteer with clean-up efforts in Lehigh and to bring more supplies for residents in need following the recent storm.

Pearson pointed out that the farm felt the effects of Irma, suffering extensive damage.

"We plan to rebuild our farm here in Lehigh, as well as expand and grow additional farms throughout Southwest Florida to help as many people as possible," he said.

The community garden project is run by volunteers and works to educate the public on ways to grow its own food and eat healthier. Besides helping to provide supplies and meals to the community, Healthy Harvest Farms is striving to create a greener environment in Lehigh, according to Pearson.

"Our motto is, 'Rebuild, Replant, Restore,'" he said.

Founded five years ago, the farm donates 75 percent of the food it grows to local food banks.

For more information, visit:

The Mirror Lakes Golf Club is at 670 Milwaukee Blvd.



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