Dec. 2014 – Message from Thomas Mantz

The year’s end

2014 was a year of significant advancement for Feeding America Tampa Bay. We moved the mission forward, and as a result we fed more people. This seems remarkably simple, but this is how we know we are successful – there are more meals on more tables each day.

For us as a mission, we measure ourselves against this goal daily. As we come to the close of the year, it will be one where we provided over 40 million meals to our hungry neighbors.

Our greater objective is to be the foundation upon which all food rescue and relief rests in Tampa Bay. If we are able to source, recover and deliver more meals, two things occur; we feed people, our main goal, and we strengthen the ability of our charity partners to focus on their core missions. In other words, if we supply more meals to our partners, they don’t have to expend the resources to find food and can focus on key issues like job training, shelter and education. Good charitable partnerships create a circle of care that ultimately lifts a person out of their current circumstances and allows them a full return to their greatest potential.

2014 also saw the publication of our quadrennial Hunger Study. This work is a massive study of hunger in our community. We often know how many people are hungry; the study helps us understand why they are in need of food. A better understanding of the core issues that drive hunger help us to educate the community which enables Feeding America Tampa Bay to lead the conversation about solutions. As we go into 2015 and beyond our goals will center on programs that target key areas we’ve identified.

The issues of one are the issues of all – and the solutions for all will help the one. And all we need to do each and every day is to make sure that one person has the one meal they need. We so appreciate those who’ve been our partners in the fight against hunger. Thank you for helping us help our neighbors.