Because no one
should go hungry.

Meeting Manatee County’s Food Relief Needs, 365 Days a Year

Starting July 1, Feeding Tampa Bay will be rolling out our proven direct distribution model in Manatee County to ensure the same amount of food – if not more – reaches the 50,000-hungry people across the community.

This page outlines the details of this transition, but please contact us immediately if you have any questions – or if you need food.

Because no one should go hungry.

At Feeding Tampa Bay, we believe that access to nutritious food is a fundamental human right. In Manatee County alone, there are 50,000 people who are hungry and therefore central to every decision we make for the 10-county region we serve.

Our Commitment to Manatee

As part of Feeding Tampa Bay’s 10-county service territory, it will continue to distribute 2 million pounds of food through food pantries across Manatee County and plans to grow this volume of food by 2019.

Impact to Manatee Agencies

Feeding Tampa Bay’s model will not require Manatee-based agencies to absorb more expenses in receiving food. In fact, Feeding Tampa Bay—as part of its transition plan—will absorb all transportation costs as well as waive all fees associated with food delivery and pick-up for the 2018 calendar year. Feeding Tampa Bay’s goal in transitioning to this model is to reduce the transportation and storage challenges that its agency partners face. Local agencies will have several options for getting food from Feeding Tampa Bay before, during and after the transition – see the facts below for all the ways you can work with us.

How this transition came to be.

As reported through an issued press release on April 20, Feeding Tampa Bay has ended its partner services contract with the Food Bank of Manatee. Since that time, Feeding Tampa Bay has been facilitating agency outreach, hosting training sessions and conducting assessments to identify the current capacity of the agencies and plan for future strategies.

  • The previous model – Through its previous food delivery contract, Feeding Tampa Bay provided more than 2 million pounds of food annually to Manatee County through The Food Bank of Manatee and facilitated partnerships that aided in additional pounds delivered.
  • The new model – Feeding Tampa Bay will now provide all of these resources directly to agency partners, which will strengthen the local distribution process. Because of its significant network capacity and national affiliation, Feeding Tampa Bay is confident it will uphold and grow the distribution of 4 million pounds of food as well as bring additional solutions-based resources to those in need in Manatee County.

Other transition facts you may need to know.

How do I get food in Manatee County?
Feeding Tampa Bay can assure that the same amount of food–if not more–will be provided to Manatee County through its direct distribution model. Local agencies will have several options for getting food from Feeding Tampa Bay before, during and after the transition.

Local agencies have three ways of getting food from Feeding Tampa Bay:

  • Feeding Tampa Bay will deliver food directly to Agency Partners.
  • Feeding Tampa Bay will empower Agency Partners to pick up directly from retail stores (Agency Empower Retail Program (AERP)).
  • Agency Partners have the option to come to the Feeding Tampa Bay warehouse to pick-up food.

Importantly, all Manatee-based agencies still have the opportunity to partner with and pick up food from the Food Bank of Manatee. Feeding Tampa Bay will also deploy direct distributions to individuals and families in the county.

Will working directly with Feeding Tampa Bay cost Manatee food pantries more?
Feeding Tampa Bay’s model will not require Manatee-based agencies to absorb more expenses in receiving food. In fact, Feeding Tampa Bay has included in its plan to absorb all transportation costs as well as waive all fees associated with food delivery and pick-up for the 2018 calendar year. Feeding Tampa Bay’s ultimate goal in transitioning to this model is to reduce the transportation and storage challenges that its agency partners face. This model has proven to work in other counties and Feeding Tampa Bay expects the same positive results in Manatee County.

How exactly is the Feeding Tampa Bay distribution model proven?
Our confidence comes from a model that is tested. When the same model was implemented in Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties, these communities saw an increase in distribution efficiencies, overall supply of food and improved delivery time – all empowering each community to grow healthier and stronger. In fact, the amount of food delivered to hungry families in those communities has increased by 30 percent.

Research from across the country shows that on-the-ground, mobile food banks are more effective. This model is now being employed in Manatee through Feeding Tampa Bay’s network of partners as it has in other counties with great success. Read more about mobile pantries here.

When did Feeding Tampa Bay tell the community about this change?
On April 20, Feeding Tampa Bay and The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, ended the provider services contract between the two organizations and announced this update in a press release.

Beginning May 31, Feeding Tampa Bay started conducting outreach to agencies in Manatee County and has made itself available to any organization with urgent needs.

Local organizations who would like to become a partner to Feeding Tampa Bay can email khall@feedingtampabay.org.

Timeline of Events at a Glance:

  • April 19 – As a result of ongoing conversations between Feeding Tampa Bay (FTB) and Food Bank of Manatee (FBOM), Feeding Tampa Bay verbally notified FBOM of contract changes
  • April 20 – Feeding Tampa Bay sent official letter to FBOM notifying of contract changes as well as official press release for review.
  • May 29 – Feeding Tampa Bay and FBOM held in-person meeting to discuss transition timing. FBOM indicated the July 1, 2018 official transition date.
  • May 30 – Feeding Tampa Bay sent official letter to retail partners to notify them of contract changes.
  • May 31 – Feeding Tampa Bay sent letter to Manatee-based agencies notifying them of the contract changes as well as an Agency Assessment Tool for agencies to complete. The results of the Agency Assessment have since been used to identify the current capacity of the agencies and to plan for future strategies.
  • June 6 – Feeding Tampa Bay Town Hall meeting official invitation sent to Manatee-based agencies as well as to the FBOM.
  • June 8 – Feeding Tampa Bay assessed and identified retail route plan.
  • June 11 – Feeding Tampa Bay held Town Hall meeting to discuss transition details with Manatee organizations.
  • June (ongoing monthly efforts) – Feeding Tampa Bay has performed continuous outreach to all Manatee-based agencies, including emails, phone calls and in-person trainings.
  • July 1 – Feeding Tampa Bay and Food Bank of Manatee’s provider services contract officially ends.
  • October 1 – Feeding Tampa Bay will conduct a 90-day assessment with its Agency Partners and continue to work through the most effective methods of serving its partners and the food-insecure individuals and families in Manatee County.