2022 has been a busy year for Feeding Tampa Bay. Thanks to ongoing support from the community, we’ve been able to cross finish lines, celebrate milestones, and provide our neighbors with more resources and dignity than ever before. You all have helped us imagine a more equitable, more caring, and less hungry Tampa Bay region.
Thank you for that.
As part of FTB’s year in review, we wanted to highlight some of the accomplishments we reached together.
By the Numbers
- We served 94.1 million meals across all 10 of our counties.
- We had a dedicated community of 1,173 ForkLifters who magnified Feeding Tampa Bay’s mission through monthly donations, resulting in $618,555 worth of annual donations.
- We had immense manpower! 53,357 volunteers helped us sort items at our warehouse, distribute grocery boxes at community mega pantries, and serve hot meals at Trinity Cafe. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the help of our volunteers. In total, they spent 154,413 hours with us and contributed $4.6 million to our economic impact in Tampa Bay.
- We have seen that a commitment to social change knows no age limits. FTB’s Changemakers program helps children learn about community issues, practice volunteerism, and promote generosity and social responsibility. The program has grown this year to include 40 young changemakers who meet monthly to learn and help feed their neighbors, proving that, with enough passion, anyone can make a difference no matter how young they are.
Measuring FTB’s goals: the four Es
- As part of our 2022 mission, we wanted to EVOLVE our services to better adapt to our neighbors needs. This meant creating dedicated senior shopping days at our Publix Community Market. Now, people aged 65 years and older can get fresh produce and other pantry staples, and they can access free health screenings at the adjacent BayCare Health Education Center.
- To ENERGIZE FTB’s work, we knew it was important to understand how healthcare and hunger intertwine and affect the community. After all, good health is often dependent on a person’s access to good food. So, we partnered with BayCare to establish the BayCare Health Education Center at our warehouse. The first of its kind, the center provides FTB guests with the following: Health education materials; a Higi station, which allows people to monitor and track health stats such as their weight, blood pressure, pulse, and body mass index (BMI); and a private space for personal health consultations.
- We know it takes a village to work toward ending hunger. That’s why we’ve made great efforts to ENGAGE with those in our community through new and exciting partnerships. This year, we partnered with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to expand our web of local food pantries.
- Together with the Bucs and The Mosaic Company, we opened a new Feeding Minds School Pantry at Broward Elementary School in Seminole Heights. The pantry distributed over 17,000 pounds of food this year, which helped feed approximately 74 families per month.
- With the Bucs defensive line, we also launched a mobile food pantry at Middleton High School to support our neighbors in East Tampa. The bi-monthly pantries have already served more than 2,100 families!
- It’s not enough to just provide food. This year, FTB also aimed to EMPOWER families and individuals with resources for long-term stability. It’s part of our effort to expand our strategic goals beyond the scope of “Food for All.”
- The Feeding Pinellas Empowerment Center opened in Fall 2021 and has boomed as the heart of our mission in Pinellas County. There, guests have access to warm, healthy meals as well as other wraparound services such as: SNAP assistance, Nutrition education, Job training connection services, Feeding Minds food pantry, and ESOL adult education courses.
- Our FRESHforce Program continues to help people break the cycle of hunger and become more self-sustainable. Participants gain skills in one of four areas: culinary arts, warehouse logistics, commercial truck operations, and barista training. This past year, we had: 48 FRESHforce graduates, a 94% graduation rate, and hired 4 people onto our team from the FRESHforce cohort.
Noteworthy Events: A Timeline
January: Our FTB employees partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help rehab duplex apartments in St. Pete. Each of the homeowners also received a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator.
February : Big Storm Brewing Co. teamed up with FTB to release a honey wheat orange ale called “Hops for Hunger.” Nearly 1,000 gallons of the beer sold exclusively in Big Storm Brewing’s tap rooms in Clearwater, Orlando, Odessa and Cape Coral. Proceeds were donated to better serve our neighbors in need.
March: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried visited Feeding Tampa Bay to discuss food insecurity initiatives.
July : We live streamed the 7th year of our Epic Chef competition. During the charity event, esteemed local chefs battled against each other and the clock to create unique, delicious dishes. In the end, Chef Jedd Yudelson, of Mise en Place, took home the win.
August: Our Hillsborough County Trinity Cafes celebrated 20 years of service to the Tampa community. This year alone, Trinity staff and volunteers have served nearly 137,000 meals across all three locations.
September: We led disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Ian, which devastated parts of our gulf coast.
October: We revived our Empty Bowls event, which focused on creating awareness for and relieving child hunger.
November: At our IMAGINE event, we envisioned the ways in which FTB has and will continue to reach further into the community to fight hunger. We learned that the best way to make a meaningful difference was to collaborate across sectors of health, education, and more. And one week before Thanksgiving, Trinity Cafe served its 2-millionth meal with dignity.
A look at 2023
Feeding Tampa Bay has accomplished so much this year, but we’re really just getting started.
In 2023, we have even bigger and better plans in store.
This includes the construction of our new building for hunger relief.
Your continued support has made this dream a reality for us. With more partnerships, more food and more solutions, we know this new home will catapult us one step closer to ending hunger in Tampa Bay.
And we hope that you’ll continue to stand with us on this next endeavor.
Let’s imagine it together.
By Hannah Himmelgreen