Feed Tampa Bay provides local food pantries with weekly food to support the community

Feeding Tampa Bay donates boxes of fresh produce and other groceries to local food pantries to support the community.

As national inflation continues to impact families, a larger population faces food insecurity. Rising living costs have made it difficult for families to manage their budgets and find the financial resources needed to put an adequate amount of nutritious food on the table. Feeding Tampa Bay works with approximately 450 food pantries, churches and ministries that provide food to community members facing food insecurity.

President and CEO Thomas Mantz explained the importance of pantries, saying, “You should be able to get [free food] pretty hassle-free because, again, no one should be without food resources.

Pantries that Feeding Tampa Bay works with include:

• Bread of Refuge on Wilbur Street in Brandon. Pain du Refuge serves hot meals from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and food baskets daily from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Mission of Hope, which serves food to widows and disabled people on Mondays from 10 am to noon on Dorman Road in Lithia. Boxes of food or clothing are provided to anyone who needs them on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at 5 p.m.

• Community Cupboard, located in Ruskin on East College Avenue and open every Tuesday from 8:30 am to 11 am. In order to receive rides, individuals must bring identification and proof of residency to Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Gibsonton, Balm, Parish, Sun City Center, or Wimauma.

• Riverview First United Methodist Church, located near Highway 301 south. They serve food on Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 12pm. People visiting the pantry should bring their identification and expect to receive fresh produce, canned goods, and other groceries.

• Seeds of Hope, which is located on East Bloomingdale Avenue in Brandon and provides food to families every Thursday from 5-7 p.m. In addition to weekly food boxes, Seeds of Hope provides food for students who qualify for free weekend lunches through its Backpacks of Hope program.

• The Nativity Pantry, open Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. on East Brandon Boulevard in the Social Room. Residents of Valrico and Brandon can stop by the social hall, located between the church and the school, to pick up boxes of groceries.

• Tampa Bay Mission of Hope Food Pantry, open to all families and individuals on Saturdays at noon off St. Cloud Avenue in Valrico. CEO Dr. Reba Haley said the food pantry emphasizes sustainability and nutrition in its distribution of canned goods, breads, fresh fruits and vegetables from its community garden.

Although you may not be the one in need of food, you probably know someone who does. Every pantry needs monetary donations and resources, including food and volunteer support. Contact your nearest food pantry to find out how you can help the community.

If you are facing food insecurity, visit feedingtampabay.org/findfood to locate the food pantry nearest you and learn more about how to receive free groceries each week.


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