On Friday, June 16th WFLA News Channel 8 spent the day volunteering at Feeding Tampa Bay. June 16th marks Channel 8’s Founder’s Day of Caring, launched by parent company, Nexstar, to celebrate the anniversary of the organization. To commemorate Founder’s Day, Nexstar encourages employees to spend up to four hours volunteering at local charities. Thousands of Nexstar employees across the country participate in Founder’s Day volunteering each year.
This year, 82 WFLA employees came out to Feeding Tampa Bay to join the fight against hunger. The volunteers in the morning shift packed bags for the Feeding Tampa Bay DISH program, which provides fresh, healthy produce to homebound seniors. Bags included sweet potatoes, fresh fruit (like apples, pears, bananas, mangos, oranges), lettuce, and salad dressing. The bags are then delivered over the weekend directly to clients in need through our agency partners like Meals on Wheels.
Volunteers in the afternoon shift were in charge of sorting through nonperishable goods. The products had to pass a quality check and expiration approval before they were sorted into an appropriate category. All in all, WFLA volunteers provided 20,794 meals to the community in just one day of service.
Not only is Feeding Tampa Bay thankful for the help WFLA provided in our warehouse, but also for helping us spread the word about hunger in our community. If we do not see individuals struggling with hunger on a daily basis, it is easy to believe the issue does not exist; however, 1 in 7 adults and 1 and 4 children in the Tampa Bay area goes hungry every day. By drawing attention to this issue and recruiting champions of our mission, we can work together to feed our community.
To celebrate National Tourism Week, our hospitality partner, Visit Tampa Bay, hosted an event called Tourism Gives Back. On Thursday, June 15th our hospitality partners banded together to support a local charity – the charity of choice was Feeding Tampa Bay. With 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 4 children going hungry everyday, our partners used Tourism Gives Back to raise awareness about the issue of hunger in Tampa Bay.
The event included a CANstruction, a bag packing competition, and a fund drive. Twenty teams competed in the CANstruction competition, which included building structures out of cans in 30 minutes or less. Teams built everything from logos to champagne bottles to ships! The Hilton Downtown Tampa received the Most Creative Structure award for its pirate ship, and the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina received the Best Overall Team award for its Feeding Tampa Bay wall.
Following the CANstruction was a bag packing competition for Feeding Tampa Bay’s Backpack Program. The Backpack Program supports the children at local schools that receive free or reduced lunches, by providing them meals for after school, weekends, and school breaks. Twenty-six teams competed to see who could pack roughly 200 bags the quickest. The Epicurean came in first place, followed by the Holiday Inn in second place, and Hooters Channelside in third. In total, 5,600 bags were packed at the event, providing 28,000 meals to children in need.
This fun and unique event not only created friendly rivalry amongst our local hospitality partners, but also allowed them to show their creativity while giving back. The remaining funds from the food drive totaled $1,185, of which the Hilton Downtown Tampa raised $1,035.
5,600 bags packed = 28,000 meals
$1,185 = 11,850 meals
9,262 pounds of food = 7,718 meals
Overall, Tourism Gives Back provided 47,568 meals to the Tampa Bay community. Coming together to fight hunger raised awareness about the struggles with food insecurity in Tampa Bay and helped distribute meals to the 700,000 people in need.
Thank you to all of the teams that participated: Marriott Waterside, Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore, McKibbon Hospitality Group, Epicurean, Hooter’s, Tampa International Airport, AAA, Yacht Starship, Lowry Park Zoo, The Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens, Mainsail Hotels, Tampa Convention Center, Bay Harbour Hotel, ABC Action News, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Grand Hyatt, TECO Energy, Hilton Downtown Tampa, Madden Media/FKQ, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, Event Show Productions
Tampa, FL, June 16, 2017 –(PR.com)– On Saturday, June 17th, over 100 community volunteers, businesses and groups will participate in Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Produce On Wheels (POW!) program. This program, partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay, will help increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce. Dedicated volunteers will give their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver free, pre-packed bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) on Saturday morning. Special thanks to the employees of Melting Pot (a Front Burner Brand), Bank of America, HDR Engineering, Inc., Kforce Inc., Mezrah Consulting, and Moffitt Cancer Center for helping to load cars and deliver routes on this day.
There are still 6 routes available for volunteers to sign up to deliver on Saturday. Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow to select a route, or explore other ways to help.
This month’s free bag of produce will include: an orange, a pear, an apple, kale, chard, cherry tomatoes, a sweet potato, some salad dressing, and additional items donated by Feeding Tampa Bay.
In response to this program, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed partnerships with the following groups: Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Sanwa Farmer’s Market, Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, and others. Their generous contributions have enhanced this month’s delivery.
This monthly event is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa to further their mission of nourishing, enriching, and strengthening the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa. POW! was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year.
“This is such a blessing because I can no longer shop for fresh food. Many thanks to all who helped with this program, it is wonderful! Especially the volunteers who came to see me on a Saturday-what a treat!" said Delores, HDM recipient on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program.
In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer openings for those unavailable to deliver meals during the week.
Recipients also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety. Feedback was recently collected from recipients and volunteers assisting in the evaluation of the program to continue to improve its impact on senior nutrition.
Professors and graduate students from USF’s College of Public Health assisted the Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of POW! on Tampa’s homebound citizens. Pre-test, post-test, and process evaluation surveys were completed during 2016. These tests revealed recipients were consuming an additional serving of fresh fruit and half a serving of vegetables each day. This data was recently published in the Florida Public Health Review Journal for other programs to learn from all over the world. In order to keep increasing the impact of POW! on recipients, Meals On Wheels of Tampa is currently looking for funding to expand the program to daily deliveries.
Future POW! delivery dates are Saturday, July 15th, August 19th, September 16th, and October 21st. Interested in delivering POW? Sign up by visiting www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow or call (813) 238-8410.
If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This week the WFLA News Channel 8 team will come together for an important cause, helping feed Tampa Bay!
“The 8 On Your Side brand has always represented a sense of community, and that is why we are excited to bring our entire staff together to partner with Feeding Tampa Bay,” said WFLA News Channel 8’s General Manager Andy Alford. “There continues to be a need in our market to feed hungry children and families and we hope that our volunteer efforts will help to fill that need.”
WFLA News Channel 8 is proud to be part of the “Founder’s Day of Caring,” launched by our parent company, Nexstar, in recognition of the anniversary of the company on Friday, June 16.
Nexstar TV employees can volunteer for up to four hours, paid for by the company, at local charities.
Thousands of employees at Nexstar TV stations across the country will be participating by collaborating with charities and organizations in their own local communities.
Employees from all departments of WFLA News Channel 8 are partnering with Feeding Tampa Bay for a special day of volunteering.
“Hunger is a significant issue in our community, with 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 4 children struggling every day,” said Executive Director of Feeding Tampa Bay Thomas Mantz. “News Channel 8 WFLA is displaying commitment and passion towards this issue with a day of service at Feeding Tampa Bay. Through this partnership, we will be able to put more meals on the tables of our hard working neighbors and provide healthier, better futures for the individuals and families we serve.”
WFLA News Channel 8 will be sharing stories and highlighting the work Feeding Tampa Bay does in our community while we volunteer. Watch us live on Facebook on Friday, June 16 to spread the love.
Oak Ridge Wesleyan,
11000 110th St, Largo, FL 33778
Mondays- Friday, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Positive Impact Worldwide,
2750 34ths St S, St. Petersburg, FL, 33711
Mondays-Fridays 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Port Richey, Fl34668
Tampa, Fl 33612
Tampa, Fl 33603
Clearwater, Fl 33756
Tampa, Fl 33602