Community donations equate to 128,000 PB&J sandwiches for children, families and seniors in need
Community Cooperative’s pantries are now filled with over 4 tons of peanut butter and jelly supplies thanks to community support of the nonprofit’s 2021 Peanut Butter & Jelly Food Drive.
Peanut butter and jelly are some of the most frequently requested items at mobile food pantries because it is kid-friendly, shelf-stable and protein-rich. To help keep its shelves stocked all summer long, Community Cooperative launched its annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Food Drive in March to rally the support of families, businesses and the community in collecting PB&J supplies.
A total of 8,131.5 pounds of PB&J donations were dropped off at Community Cooperative’s weigh-in on April 21, which equates to 128,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the community. Today, supplies are already landing in the hands of local children, families and seniors in need, distributed through Community Cooperative’s mobile food pantry.
“Our community helped spread the love in a big way through generous support of this year’s PB&J drive, and we are incredibly thankful for the many individuals, businesses, community groups and even entire neighborhoods that made it possible,” said Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative.
“These donations can now directly impact our neighbors in need, providing important sustenance to those who rely on these pantry staples.”
Thousands of jars of peanut, almond and alternative nut butters, jellies and jams came in from individuals and families as well as over a dozen business and community teams that organized their own collection drives.
Top collection teams by community sector included real estate photographers Real Tours with 2,745.5 pounds collected, the Pelican Preserve community in Fort Myers with 961 pounds, and the Island Coast High School with 436 pounds.
This year’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Food Drive also honors Community Cooperative’s late founder Sam Galloway Jr., who began the Soup Kitchen 37 years ago by handing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after church in downtown Fort Myers to people who needed food.
For more information on Community Cooperative’s efforts or to learn more about upcoming food pantries, visit CommunityCooperative.com.
The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee will host an afternoon of fun and networking with virtual BINGO at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Guests from across the region are invited to play for a chance to win special prizes, and all proceeds will benefit the Women in Business Scholarship Fund, supporting scholarships for area students.
Registration is $15 for members and nonmembers and includes one BINGO card to play in each of three games. Additional cards are $5 per game. Registration is available at https://bit.ly/WIBBingo. Sponsorships are also available for $150 each and will provide opportunity to lead two 10-minute networking breakout sessions.
“We wanted to find a way for the Women in Business attendees to feel like they’re together again and have some fun,” said Chamber President and CEO Colleen DePasquale. “Breakout rooms are a great way for guests who haven’t seen each other since our last in-person event to connect again and a great way for sponsors to get virtual face time with attendees. Our Chamber members have been very supportive by providing the prizes for the event.”
Women in Business scholarships are awarded annually to nontraditional students from Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida SouthWestern State College and Hodges University. The Women in Business Scholarship Fund depends on fundraising at each event, primarily through raffle ticket sales. Without those events, fundraising has slowed.
“We want to be able to give back to the community, and connect personally at the same time,” said Women in Business Chair Kelly Talamo. “This event is a fun escape from daily Zoom meetings and will help us get back on track with fundraising. It’s a win-win for all.”
Three games of BINGO will be played during the approximately two-hour event. The third game will have multiple chances to win. BINGO cards are limited, so guests are encouraged to register early.
To make a donation or for more information, contact the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at 239-332-2930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An April death investigation has resulted in the arrests of three people, with two others still at large.
The Cape Coral Police Department have arrested three people in connection with the death of a young woman who was located along the side of the road in Gator Circle last month. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the death of Kaleigh Marie Mousseau (DOB: 9-1-00) was due to acute combined drug toxicity (overdose) and the manner of death was determined to be an accident.
The Cape Coral Police Department Major Crimes Unit worked tirelessly on this case and have charged John J. Kaiser (DOB: 10-15-74), Carl M. Crowe (DOB: 4-23-68), and Amy L. Sigears (DOB: 5-21-68) each with tampering with physical evidence (3rd degree felony), mishandling human remains (1st degree misdemeanor), and failure to report a death (1st degree misdemeanor).
Thomas B. Bartley (DOB: 6-11-73) and Denise R. Maggi (DOB: 9-4-79) are still at large and are facing the same charges. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these subjects is asked to please contact the Cape Coral Police Department at (239) 574-3223 or Crimestoppers to provide the information.
A man arrested for kidnapping and other charges in the spring of 2019 has been found guilty by a Lee County jury.
Bryan Gibson (W/M, DOB: 10-6-84) was arrested in April by CCPD Patrol officers after he held two women against their will in his vehicle, throwing their phones out the car window and displaying a knife.
A Lee County jury found him guilty on January 30th, 2020 on two counts of false imprisonment and criminal mischief. Upon hearing the verdict, Gibson had to be restrained by bailiffs in the courtroom. He will be sentenced on March 2nd.
The original news release for Gibson’s arrest can be found at the below link:
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations. The CALEA Accreditation program seals are reserved for use by those public safety agencies that have demonstrated compliance with CALEA Standards and have been awarded CALEA Accreditation by the Commission. Receiving national accreditation confirms our agency’s commitment to meeting the highest standards of law enforcement excellence.
This year, assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) conducted both remote and on-site inspections of our organization to ensure compliance with CALEA standards. Once the inspection was complete, the assessors submitted their report to CALEA for final review and consideration.
On November 16, 2019, members of our team appeared before a committee in Covington, Kentucky, for final review of the report. After a question and answer session, the committee recommended a vote for re-accreditation to the full commission that took place later that day.
We are proud to announce the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was, once again, awarded national re-accreditation by CALEA. Accreditation is a significant accomplishment. It requires diligence, commitment and constant attention to detail. It is a result of every member of our team working collectively to provide the best possible service to our community.