Sam Galloway who founded the soup kitchen in 1984 is passionate about feeding the hungry. He has collected thousands of pounds of food at his dealership that is going to be mobilized this summer to feed the hungry. / Andrew West/news-press.com
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Sam Galloway Jr. is a force of nature.
His passion for the hungry has spanned 25 years and it’s getting more intense these days as he stockpiles thousands of pounds of food in his Ford dealership off Boy Scout Drive in Fort Myers and equips trucks to distribute food to the hungry.
He pinpoints the moment he knew he would champion the hungry. It was after surgery in the 1980s.
“I had a life-altering experience,” he said. “I saw the white light. I saw a tunnel and it looked like a tornado lying on its side. I realized things had to be done and I made a promise to do my best and work to fight hunger.”
He’s kept his promise ever since.
Galloway founded the Soup Kitchen in 1984. Every holiday season for more than 20 years he’s held a holiday caroling event that raises food and money for hunger. For the past six years he’s hosted a Sam Galloway Annual Soup Kitchen Benefit. This year he raised a record breaking $500,000.
“It’s a passionate project,” he said about his efforts to feed the hungry. “I’ve never had anything hit me like this. This is basic right.”
Galloway doesn’t want any recognition. He’s grateful for the people who help him do it.
“We’ve got so many fine people helping it’s unbelievable,” he said.
He appreciates big donations but he thinks Lee County could “whip hunger” if everyone gave just gave a few dollars.
“The dollar goes a long way,” he said. “It buys 20 cents a pound. You can get five pounds of food for a dollar.”
Hunger can be solved if people reach out, he said.
“Everybody relates to this especially with a family and young children,” he said. “We have to jump into this and do something. We have to take a leap of faith and help.”