Salvation Army partners with Feeding Tampa Bay to provide drive-through food donations to residents in need

COVID19 Food Distribution - resize
Many restaurants are closed, and servers are out of work.

The Salvation Army in Pinellas County is amplifying its efforts to ensure service, particularly among vulnerable populations.

As part of a nationwide effort to increase available services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local chapter is continuing its regular food pantry operations while also partnering with Feeding Tampa Bay to host weekly drive-through food distributions in the area to help meet increased needs as children are out of school and many residents are out of work

“We anticipate a significant increase in emergency assistance for low-wage employees who may be temporarily laid off due to coronavirus,” said Major Ted Morris, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving Clearwater and Upper Pinellas County.

While everyone is feeling the stress from the coronavirus pandemic, people living in poverty may be more severely impacted. Several industries are at risk of financial hardship, such as travel and hospitality.

“Many of our restaurants are closed, and servers are out of work. These food distributions can really make a difference,” said newly elected Mayor Frank Hibbard.

The Salvation Army is offering drive-through food distribution in Clearwater every Wednesday in April from 3:30-5 p.m. at 1521 Druid Road East. Volunteers and workers will hand out boxes of food including fresh produce during that time frame until supplies run out.

A food pantry in St. Petersburg is open Monday through Friday from 9-11:30 a.m. at 1400 Fourth St. South. That location requires a photo ID and a recent piece of mail verifying residence in the city to obtain food.

Other services currently being offered across the county include rent, mortgage and utility assistance, family shelters, and emergency shelters as resources are available.

Pinellas County is under a local safer at home order requiring non-essential businesses to abide by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on social distancing including limiting groups to fewer than 10 individuals and requiring six-feet of space in between individuals unless they are part of the same family unit.

The order means some businesses that cannot abide by those recommendations might have been forced to close including barbershops and salons, nail salons and massage parlors. Other businesses, like restaurants, are operating under significantly restricted operations, creating a major hit to employment and leaving some residents either without a job or with reduced income.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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