Without constant access to healthy, nutritious foods, children struggle behaviorally and academically. Programs like Feeding Minds, a collaboration with Publix and Hillsborough County Public Schools, are addressing this issue by opening school pantries in low-income areas across Tampa Bay. School pantries serve as a source of groceries for children and families who struggle to find food.
1 in 4 children in Tampa Bay struggle with hunger. These students typically rely on free or reduced cost school lunches to fulfill their daily meals; however, when school closes for weekends or breaks, so do meals. In Hillsborough County alone, over 65% of public school students receive these free school meals.
Last year, 8 school pantries opened in elementary schools across the most at-risk low income areas in Hillsborough County. It is estimated that hundreds of families will receive meals each week through the Feeding Minds program. This year, we are working to open 10 more school pantries in the area. See below for the list of pantries.