Choice Market is the only food pantry serving the families in need on Fort Myers Beach. This is our community food pantry and they ask the community to join them in their mission of providing food for those who need it on Fort Myers Beach. Located at Beach Baptist Church, the Choice Market is run by Director Craig Nelms and a host of volunteers. The market has been in operation for nearly a decade.
Each year in January, they hold an annual fundraiser to help them in their fight against hunger. This year the need is greater as food available from the Harry Chapin Food Bank is down and more of their food must be purchased at retail prices. They hope to raise $8,000 this January. Monetary donations help the market to purchase more food than donors can themselves. “I can transform a monetary contribution into a lot of loaves and fishes,” said Nelms in a previous conversation about the market.
One hundred percent of tax-deductible contributions stays here on the beach and aids their efforts to feed the beach. Those wishing to support Choice Market are asked to send a check made out to “Beach Baptist” with “Choice Market Hunger Drive” in the memo line and send them to Beach Baptist, 130 Connecticut Ave, Fort Myers Beach 33931.
This year was extra busy at the Choice Market with more people and families in need of food and personal hygiene items. Choice market feeds, on average 1083 mouths per month, which totals out to be over 100,000 pounds of food. In 2019, they fed more than 13,000 mouths.
Nelms explained that there is a common misperception in the community about who the Choice Market serves. “They are not homeless or helpless, but are actually your neighbors,” he said. “Most Choice Market customers are not unemployed, but underemployed, especially during the summer. They just need a little help to get by. Since we provide food, they can pay the electric or water bill or seek medical treatment. Everything adds up and every bit helps!”
Island residents and visitors are asked to consider a monetary donation to Choice Market to help feed the beach. “Your generosity will directly impact families on Fort Myers Beach,” emphasized Nelms.
Help end hunger on our island.
Information provided by Choice Market.