Our goal was to collect a ton of food from Patch readers in 19 cities in Florida.
Our food drive is winding down. It's no surprise either that we had a ton of support from residents in the cities and towns we serve.
Patch Florida already topped its goal, and we just want to shout out a big thanks to everyone.
On Tuesday, we collected 161 pounds of food at several dropoff locations in Gulfport and St. Petersburg and took the nonperishable items to Feeding America Tampa Bay's warehouse in Clearwater. (We saw a lot of healthy canned veggies in those donations, too!)
Add that to about 200 pounds of food collected with the Patch RV in early May in south Pinellas County. Readers in Gulfport, St. Petersburg and on the Gulf beaches helped to made a huge contribution to the Florida Patch goal.
Special thanks to all the businesses and organizations that served as dropoff locations! And thank all of you who donated for such a wonderful cause.
In all, 19 websites in Florida have collected more than 2,000 pounds of food for Feeding America Tampa Bay. The food drive is starting to wind down.
Feeding America Tampa Bay is a regional food bank that supplies more than 700 agencies throughout West Central Florida, many of them children.
According to Debbi McCarthy of Feeding America Tampa Bay, the agency serves a poverty population of some 700,000 people.
“Florida is ranked fourth in the nation for family hunger in households containing at least one child,” McCarthy said. “In the past 12 months, the food bank supplied more than 2 million pounds of food to its 10-county service area – enough to provide more than a million and a half meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry.”
With summer just around the corner, the need for support is growing even stronger, McCarthy said.
“Summer is a particularly difficult time for food insecure children, who have no access to the federally funded school meals,” McCarthy said. “Heartbreakingly, many children face a long, hot, hungry summer.”