Feeding Tampa Bay wants to help food insecure families with coronavirus prep

Here's where you can get a meal, cleaning products and even volunteer during this pandemic.

click to enlarge FEEDING TAMPA BAY / FACEBOOK
FEEDING TAMPA BAY / FACEBOOK

While the fears of coronavirus heighten, shelves are being cleared at local grocery stores. Some schools and afterschool programs have also been temporarily shut down.

So where does that leave Tampa Bay residents already struggling with food insecurity? 

Feeding Tampa Bay, a nonprofit focusing on providing food to the hundreds of thousands of food insecure families in the 10-county area of West Central Florida, has released its "Coronavirus Preparedness & Prevention Plan."

According to the nonprofit, 600,000 struggle with food insecurity in our 10 county region, 1 in 4 are children.

"For the community we serve, the threat of the Coronavirus adds even more pressure to strained finances. As we take extra precautions with cleanliness and hygiene in our homes and workplaces, these simple measures may not be possible for others without our help." 

If you are in need of food, you can visit the mobile pantry to pick up a box of groceries, free of charge. Feeding Tampa Bay does not require ID, papers, or pre-screening to obtain food. If you are in need of groceries or a hot meal, go to FeedingTampaBay.org and click the "Find Food" tab.

Feeding Tampa Bay’s on-site food pantry (4702 Transport Drive, Bldg 6, Tampa) allows those in need to shop for fresh produce, meat, bread, and shelf-stable items. Pick up a box of food, free of charge. Appointments are required to shop in the Publix Community Market. Call (813) 254-1190 today to schedule your appointment. Shoppers will be allotted one appointment per month. 

The nonprofit's My Mobile Market brings healthy, nutritious foods to underserved areas impacted by barriers like food cost, mobility, and transportation. You can check the schedule for next stops at feedingtampabay.org/my-mobile-market-schedule.

To assist those in need, Feeding Tampa Bay plans on doing the following during this pandemic:

  • Increasing mobile pantry distributions in response to many in the agency's network who pause or reduce open hours as their volunteer support shrinks during this season.
  • Sourcing hygiene and cleaning products for distribution at community food pantries and onsite grocery store.
  • Expanding hot meals to go for distribution to seniors and others who need to avoid their group dining facilities or neighborhood food pantry.
  • Ramping up extra support for children receiving food through our school pantry or after school meals programs. 

Although we find ourselves wanting to self-quarantine over the next few weeks, consider dropping off donations of non-perishable items, hygiene products and other goods to your local shelter or directly to Feeding Tampa Bay.

Need more of a reason to give back to our community?

Sparkman Wharf's Flock and Stock, GenX Tavern and Tampa Bay Pizza Co. South Tampa are taking 10% off the bills of guests who bring in donations of dry goods, household cleaning items and non-perishables over the next two weeks. All items will be donated to Feeding Tampa Bay.

To volunteer or donate, visit feedingtampabay.org.

click to enlarge FEEDING TAMPA BAY / FACEBOOK
FEEDING TAMPA BAY / FACEBOOK


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