Three weeks ago, Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle leaving nothing but chaos and destruction in its path. Homes were demolished, businesses destroyed, and towns flattened. Our neighbors to the north were in desperate need of food, supplies, and support following this time of trauma.
Individuals, teams, and companies in Tampa Bay rallied together to help our neighbors in need.
- 25 partners and community members have coordinated food drives for hurricane relief – and the number is still growing!
- Cox Media Group & Pepin Distributing held a food drive that yielded 4 truckloads of food, non-food items and water
- USAA brought over 70 employees to our warehouse to sort through donated product
- First Class Moving donated two trucks and two drivers to transport relief supplies up north to the affected areas
- RMS donated a truckload of dry groceries to those in the path of the storm
- the Tampa Bay Lightning teamed up with PODS to host 2 food drives to benefit those affected by Hurricane Michael
- the Tampa Bay Rays held 2 food drives for the hurricane victims yielding 4 cargo trucks of relief supplies and volunteered to sort through all donated product in need of distribution
- Amazon Prime Now donated 40+ truck seals to ensure the integrity of all donated product on its way to its final destination
The outpouring of support from our community is truly special and the epitome of #FloridaStrong. It is not without this support that Feeding Tampa Bay was able to send 13 semi-trucks full of water, relief supplies, and ready-to-eat meals to our sister food banks up north, Feeding the Gulf Coast and Second Harvest of the Big Bend, estimating 356,108 pounds of product.
Disaster relief doesn’t just come in the form of product, but also transportation and staff. Two of our drivers, Rafael Rodriguez and William Tabares, took semi’s full of product to the panhandle and stayed for 2 weeks at a time to assist with transportation needs in the area. They transported product between the two food banks in the panhandle and to nearby food pantries. Lastly, our procurement coordinator, Tom Fisher, has been helping secure food donations from local donors for Feeding the Gulf Coast and will now be supporting the Panama City team at the disaster relief distribution hub.
This cycle applies to many situations, but in this case, the cycle applies to hunger. For hundreds of thousands of hardworking families in the Tampa Bay area, one small setback could derail financial stability and make tough choices – pay the mortgage or buy groceries? – the norm.
For the 7th consecutive year, Bank of America and Feeding Tampa Bay are joining forces to break the cycle and put an end to hunger in Tampa Bay. As part of the Give A Meal campaign, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will donate $2 for every $1 donated to www.bankofamerica.com/give this holiday season. Donate to the Give a Meal campaign now through December 31st to help ensure that families don’t have to choose between feeding their families and paying for basic necessities. This one simple act could be the first step in breaking the cycle of hunger for a neighbor in need.
Celebrating year 5 of the Goals for Food program with Tampa Bay Lightning and The Mosaic Company, we aim to raise 5 million meals for our community. For every regular season home game, 1 goal = $500 and 1 hat trick = $5000 donated to Feeding Tampa Bay. Every dollar donated creates ten meals for our hungry neighbors. As of last year, Lightning and Mosaic had raised 4.5 million meals for the food bank. So far this season, these partners have donated $18,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay. Cheer on your favorite Lightning players this hockey season and show your support for the Goals for Food program.