PALM-AIRE — Palm-Aire resident Helen Fleder has spent most of her life as an artist. She’s been a ballet dancer, a sculptor and an author. When she wasn’t working in the creative fields, she served her community as a volunteer for a variety of organizations.
Now, she is hoping to inspire East County residents in her newest venture — Care to Share. Fleder, a Fairway Six resident, has partnered with residents in Woodlake and Lakeside Woods to create a community-wide food drive for All Faiths Food Bank. Donation boxes will be set up at the Fairway Six pool house Nov. 4-5, and anyone wishing to donate non-perishable food items may do so. The bank will then collect the donations Nov. 6.
“The residents at Fairway Six meet four times a year for pot lucks, and there’s always more than enough food,” Fleder said. “I thought, ‘There must be a way for us to do something as a neighborhood and contribute.’ As an artist, I came up with Care to Share.
“I was amazed to learn that there is a major problem here in Sarasota and Desoto counties with families as well as with the homeless who are suffering from hunger,” she said. “More than 32,000 people are in need of food on a daily basis — more this year than last.”
All Faiths Food Bank collects food and distributes it to agencies in Sarasota and Desoto counties, including churches, the Salvation Army, the YMCA and many more.
Fleder hopes more neighborhoods within Palm-Aire and the East County at large will adopt the Care to Share program and organize food drives of their own.
“We’ll see how this goes, and hopefully, we can do it two times per year — at the beginning of November and the beginning of May — to catch the snowbirds,” Fleder said.
“More and more people are in terrible need of food, and it seems to be increasing,” she said. “The least we can do is be able to give.”
Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].
Care to Share
WHAT: A food drive seeking non-perishable food items.
WHEN: Nov. 4-5
WHERE: Fairway Six pool house, Palm-Aire
CONTACT: Helen Fleder, [email protected]