Jan. 2015 – Message from Thomas Mantz

The Road Ahead

2014 was a year of great progress in the fight against hunger here in Tampa Bay. By every definition we improved our response to the cause of our hungry neighbors, and, as a result, we were able to place more meals on more tables in 2014 than ever before. Our solutions resonated with the community and more folks than ever have joined us in ensuring that none of our neighbors go hungry.

As I contemplate 2015 and what lies ahead, I am confronted by an interesting idea that seems to have taken hold; somehow folks believe that because our economy is better, less people are in need. This is not the case. In fact, for all of the good news; lower gas prices, lower unemployment rate, better stock market values, there still is a large part of our community for whom recovery is not a reality. It is on behalf of these folks we will continue work hard into 2015.

Our focus as we move into this year will be, of course, providing more food to those in need. But, more than that, we want to bring the conversation about hunger out into the community. The long term effects of hunger continue to resonate in and around those who do not have enough to eat. We see compromised students, unhealthy seniors and families who are making really difficult choices between food and rent, a car payment or a medical bill. There is a long-term and devastating consequence to an underfed person, and without proper attention and treatment, their prospects are greatly diminished.

There is a simple answer, one that we at Feeding America Tampa Bay offer every day, access to a good, nutritious meal. The curative powers of food are incredible. We know the solution, what we need is the community to join us in its discharge.