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SWFL Seniors Dropped from Federal Food Program due to State Agriculture Cuts

Photo: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Cuts by the Florida Department of Agriculture will eliminate a supplemental food program used by nearly 2,300 low income seniors in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, according to department officials and distributing agency, the Harry Chapin Food Bank. The cuts go into effect Jul. 1. 

The cuts are through the federal Commodity Supplemental Food Program, administered by Florida's Department of Agriculture since January 2015. The state agricultural agency says it's eliminating the program in the three counties while also expanding it in nearby Glades and Hendry counties.


Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., Harry Chapin Food Bank president and CEO Richard LeBer explains what the cuts mean for seniors in Southwest Florida, and his efforts to encourage the state to reconsider the changes coming to the three counties.  

Also joining the program are Ashley Jones with the Salvation Army of Naples, and Teri Lamaine with the Bonita Springs Assistance Office, explaining how their operations putting food in the hands of hungry Floridians, including seniors, will be impacted by the changes.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.