Donate Don’t Waste


Lee County Solid Waste’s third annual “Donated not Wasted” food rescue campaign begins March 22nd. The campaign encourages seasonal residents and visitors to donate unopened pantry items before returning north. The two previous campaigns resulted in 6,000 pounds of food diverted from potential disposal – enough to provide 5,000 meals to hungry people.

Since the onset of COVID-19, the need for food has increased dramatically. “Last year we distributed 32.4 million pounds of food,” said Meg Madzar, food drive coordinator for Harry Chapin Food Bank. “Now, we are distributing nearly 1 million pounds a week and feeding a quarter of a million people a month.”

People can drop off unopened canned or dry goods from Monday, March 22, to April 5 at libraries, including the Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel libraries, or Lee County Parks & Recreation rec centers.

Additional collection containers are located at the Parks & Recreation’s Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and at Lee County Solid Waste’s Topaz Court Household Chemical Waste Facility.

For more information, visit or call 239-533-8000.