As we enter the holiday season and a challenging year comes to a close, it’s natural for many of us to consider and evaluate what’s next.
But for so many in Tampa Bay, contemplating what’s next is a luxury they cannot afford. The reality is they are focused on a far more urgent issue — where they are going to get food for the week.
Food is the first step to self-sufficiency. But, despite so many societal advances, food insecurity — and outright hunger — are real problems many here still face today. Our vision is a hunger-free Tampa Bay by 2025. And even with increased need, we still believe we can achieve it.
When COVID-19 surged, more than 1 million people in Feeding Tampa Bay’s ten-county region found themselves food insecure. At times the demand for food has surged more than 400%.
As the central hub of the region’s food distribution network, Feeding Tampa Bay mobilized its existing network of more than 600 food banks and forged new partnerships to meet the demand across Tampa Bay. Weekly meal distribution across the network doubled from 1 million to 2 million meals. Feeding Tampa Bay’s drive-through “mega-pantries” served thousands more each week. To meet the need, Feeding Tampa Bay added more than 80 employees — a majority of which were laid-off or furloughed workers.
Amid the continuing pandemic, and with costs for even the most basic of necessities increasing rapidly, we are faced with an urgent question.
How will Feeding Tampa Bay provide for those in need of food this week, this month, and this coming year?
Fortunately, in our community, there are so many people with the desire and capacity to help. But sometimes they are hard to reach and sometimes they don’t know where to start.
If you call Tampa Bay home, please join us and stand with Feeding Tampa Bay today. By supporting Feeding Tampa Bay, you are helping feed your neighbors, your friends, and your community. You will be helping people who are far closer to home than you could ever imagine.
If you have time, treasure or talent, and are willing to help — please reach out to us. We need you!
Together, we are unstoppable. Discover how you can help at StandWithFTB.com.
Michael and Jessica Corcoran are co-founders of Corcoran Partners, a Tampa Bay-based government relations and public affairs firm that advocates for Feeding Tampa Bay before Florida’s state and local governments. They personally support Feeding Tampa Bay.