May 2019 eNews

Help “Sack” Summer Hunger in Manatee County!

Hunger does not take a summer break. When summer begins, Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee need your help to “Sack” summer hunger for Manatee County residents of all ages.

  • During the summer, more than 14,000 children will be impacted by not having the regularly provided daily meals at school. Help The Food Bank of Manatee provide nutrition to food-insecure students by volunteering to pack and/or distribute weekend food sacks over the summer.
  • Some of our volunteers migrate to the North for the summer, leaving a number of routes without volunteer drivers to deliver the approximately 700 meals-a-day to homebound seniors. You can fill the gap in coverage by becoming a home-delivered meals volunteer.

Bring your friends, family, and co-workers to lend a hand! Click here to register to volunteer.

There is a greater need for food over the summer and supplies on the shelves at The Food Bank of Manatee are low. Please help fill the shelves by donating non-perishable foods and funds.

  • Host a food drive at your school, business, faith or civic organization, gym, or neighborhood clubhouse. Critically needed items include Spaghetti O’s, mac & cheese, fruit snacks, Vienna sausages, easy-open fruit cups, raisins, applesauce, juice boxes/pouches, pasta, canned veggies/fruit, diapers, and baby formula.
  • Please help us increase our buying power for Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee by making a financial donation. Thanks to a $1:$1 community match from the Steven and Natalee Herrig Family Foundation and Steve and Sara Bayard, all donations up to $75,000 will be doubled this summer!

Please click here to make your secure and tax deductible gift today and double your impact.

 


The 27th Annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

On Saturday, May 11th, postal carriers in Manatee County will partner with The Food Bank of Manatee by collecting non-perishable food items along their routes. Manatee County residents can leave bags of non-perishable food by their mailboxes on May 11th.

Yellow Food-Collection Barrels will also be available at The Food Bank of Manatee located at 3231 59th Drive East Unit 101, Bradenton, FL 34203. To ensure donations are received by The Food Bank of Manatee, residents can drop off donations between 1 pm and 5 pm at the following post offices:

  • Palmetto – 520 7th Street West, Palmetto
  • Ellenton – 2605 72nd Avenue East, Ellenton
  • Parrish – 12144 US Highway 301 North, Parrish
  • Bradenton Beach – 116 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach

The Food Bank of Manatee is the largest hunger relief organization in Manatee County bridging the gap between the food-insecure and the nutrition they need. What you give here—stays here. Please donate!

For More information, visit the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger.

 


May is Older Americans Month

Join us in celebrating Older Americans Month! Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Older Americans Month is a time to celebrate older adults, their stories, and their contributions to our society.

The theme of 2019, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Every day, Meals on Wheels PLUS offers programs to promote the idea of Connect, Create, Contribute for older adults in Manatee County. The home-delivered meal program is more than delivering meals—it is about making a connection with a homebound senior, sharing a warm smile, and providing an important wellness check. Often, this visit is the only social interaction the senior will receive that day.

Daybreak Adult Day Center and Friendship Dining are programs that promote independence, creativity, community, and nutrition for older adults. They participate in activities and exercises meant to enhance the quality of their life and provide them with a sense of contribution.

If you or someone you know might benefit from one of the PLUS programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS, visit https://mealsonwheelsplus.org/ for more information or call (941) 747-4655.

 


The Market at Lakewood Ranch

Many thanks to Lakewood Ranch for providing an opportunity for Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee to engage in outreach, recruit volunteers, and collect fresh produce and bread at The Market.

Every Wednesday from December to April, Meals on Wheels PLUS took up residence at a donation station set up at The Market! Kids were encouraged to decorate handcrafted holiday cards, which were delivered to seniors enrolled in various PLUS programs.

In total, $750 in donations and nearly 2,000 pounds of fresh produce, fresh-baked bread, and non-perishable food items were collected to benefit our community. The opportunity to bring awareness to the attendees about Meals on Wheels PLUS was priceless!

 


Happy Mother’s Day

What better way to honor Mom than making a very special tribute gift on her behalf to Meals on Wheels PLUS. Just $100, will feed two children weekend meals all summer long! Just $200, will provide hot, nutritious lunches for a full month to a homebound senior or you can “Adopt a Senior” for a full year for $2,000.  Make an impact in our community and make a tribute gift in honor of the special women in your life by clicking here.

 

 

April 2019 eNews

 

Community Food Drive—Critical Need!

Attention Snowbirds! Don’t throw away your food before you head up north. Repurpose it by donating it to The Food Bank of Manatee!

You can help The Food Bank of Manatee provide hunger-relief to those in need by hosting a food drive and collecting non-perishable foods. To have a yellow donation barrel dropped off at your school, business, faith or civic organization, gym, or neighborhood clubhouse, call 941-747-FOOD (3663) or email info@foodbankofmanatee.org.  Click here for a downloadable food drive kit to help promote your food drive.

Almost 60,000 men, women, and children living in Manatee County are food-insecure. The Food Bank of Manatee, the largest hunger-relief organization in Manatee, provides more than 4 million pounds of food annually to 100 partner pantries, soup kitchens, and agencies for distribution to the public.


Winn-Dixie Community Bag Program

We are excited to announce that Winn-Dixie has selected The Food Bank of Manatee to be a part of the Community Bag Program, making it easy for customers to contribute to the food bank while supporting the environment.

For the entire month of April, The Food Bank of Manatee will receive a $1 donation each time a shopper purchases a reusable Community Bag at the Winn-Dixie located at 5802 14th Street West, Bradenton, FL 3420. You can find the two colorful reusable Community Bags with the Giving Tag on the reusable bag rack at the store. The key is to look for the bags with a tag that features a blue heart with $1 in it.

This is a great way to raise awareness, support the environment and fundraise for our cause.


Grow Financial Free Community Shred Day & Food Drive

Join Grow Financial for their annual Free Community Shred Day & Food Drive on Saturday, April 27th from 9am to noon. Together with ShredQuick, they will be offering this free shredding service at two locations in Manatee County: Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 and Grow Financial Lakewood Ranch Branch, 11008 Arcade Place, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211.

Anyone who takes advantage of this free service is encouraged to bring non-perishable, non-glass food items to donate to The Food Bank of Manatee at either locations.


2019 Tropical Nights Hot Havana Nights

The night was HOT, HOT, HOT at Grove Ballroom! Guests enjoyed a delightful dinner while Sarah Glass & Joshua David, from Sara Dance Center, entertained them with salsa dancing to Latin tunes performed by Tropical Avenue. The Cool Today Club Cuba was a popular spot for guests to enjoy a refreshing Cuba Libre. The atmosphere was exciting and our guests were very engaged.

Meals on Wheels PLUS President & CEO Maribeth Phillips and Board Member Jaime DiDomenico shared our mission with attendees and thanked our supporters. At the end of the fundraising session of the night, Board Chair Bambi Forristall showed a video of Meals on Wheels PLUS at work, which left many in the audience in tears.

Our auctioneer, Jason Alpert, was electric and created several exciting bidding wars, helping to raise our live auction revenue and bid from the heart donations. Tropical Nights was not only a fun filled evening for our guests to enjoy; we raised approximately $140,000 to FEED MANATEE!

Meals on Wheels PLUS is already hard at work preparing for Tropical Nights 2020… Save the date for Saturday, March 28, 2020!

Click here to see pictures of Tropical Nights.
Photo Credit: Cliff Roles


March for Meals

During the last week of March, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee participated in March for Meals Community Champions Week, a community-based initiative across the network of Meals on Wheels America members to drive awareness for home-bound seniors! Local officials joined volunteer drivers in delivering meals to homebound seniors.

On behalf of the seniors we serve in Manatee County, we would like to thank Councilman Gene Gallo, Gary Tibbetts, special assistant to United States Congressman Vern Buchanan, Palmetto Chief of Police Scott Tyler, County Commissioner Betsy Benac, and Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan for taking the time to participate in the 17th annual March for Meals. We are grateful for you and all of our Meals on Wheels PLUS Champions!

Click here to see pictures of March for Meals Champions Week 2019.


3rd Annual Beer Belly 5K

On Saturday, March 23rd, runners participated in a fun 5K race whose course led them through the Lakewood Ranch community, scattered with craft beer stops, and ended with a party including beer trucks, food, and prizes. Proceeds from the race benefited Meals on Wheels PLUS and participants were encouraged to donate non-perishables to The Food Bank of Manatee. Thank you Beer Belly runners! Click here to see pictures from Beer Belly 2019.

 

March 2019 eNews

Tropical Nights Hot Havana Nights

The SOLD OUT 26th Annual Tropical Nights Hot Havana Nights presented by Manatee Memorial Hospital is on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Grove Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch.

We will transcend our guests to the charming art deco Havana. Enjoy salsa dancing and festive musica by Tropical Avenue, an impressive live auction by Jason Alpert Enterprises, entertainment by our Emcee, ABC 7’s Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan, and sip Cuba Libres in the Cool Today Club Cuba.


Beer Belly 5K

The 3rd Annual Beer Belly 5K comes to Lakewood Ranch, FL on March 23, 2019! This year’s fun run again benefits Meals on Wheels of Manatee. The race will have an awesome course through the community, filled with craft beer, and ending on Main Street with an after party consisting of more beer, local food, awesome sponsors, and more prizes and giveaways than you will know what to do with!

Race starts at 9am. Same day registration available starting at 7:30am, but there is no guarantee that shirt sizes will be available after pre-registration. Click here to register for the Beer Belly 5K.


March for Meals

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee will be participating in the 17th annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meals on Wheels and our senior neighbors who rely on the vital service to remain healthy and independent at home. Meals on Wheels PLUS’s celebration will include local elected officials delivering meals to homebound seniors during Champion’s Week, which is March 24th through 30th.

 

The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older.


Metro Diner Soft Opening to Benefit Meals on Wheels PLUS

Join Metro Diner for a free breakfast, lunch or dinner Saturday, March 9, 2019 9:00 am to 1:30 pm OR 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Please call (941) 306-3102 to reserve a spot for you and up to 3 guests. Donations are welcome and will benefit Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.


March is National Nutrition Month

Choosing nutritious foods and getting enough physical activity can make a real difference in your health. Try these simply tips for healthy eating:

  • Load your plate with vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat more fish.
  • Don’t skip breakfast.
  • Switch to whole grains.
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar.
  • Limit your sodium.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee hosted a volunteer appreciation dinner at First Baptist Church of Bradenton to extend gratitude to all of the hardworking volunteers, sponsors, board members, and supporters. The incredible dinner provided by Outback Steakhouse Cortez Road was not only a huge hit with the volunteers, but the left overs were donated to Our Daily Bread soup kitchen and combined with other ingredients to create 500 additional meals for food-insecure individuals.

February 2019 eNews

Tropical Nights Hot Havana Nights

Mark your calendar for The 26th Annual Tropical Nights Hot Havana Nights to benefit Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Grove Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch.

You will not want to miss this event, as we transcend our guests to the charming art deco Havana. Enjoy salsa dancing and festive musica by Tropical Avenue, an impressive live auction by Jason Alpert Enterprises, and entertainment by our Emcee, ABC 7’s Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan.

Click here for tickets and sponsorship information.

2019 Tropical Nights

text2give

Have a Heart and TEXT2GIVE

It is easier than ever to give a gift using TEXT2GIVE. Your donor experience will be quick and simple. Just use your smartphone to text “feedmanatee” to 243725.

$25 sponsors 5 home-delivered meals for a senior.

$50 sponsors 2 Emergency Baby Baskets.

$100 sponsors a senior one day at Daybreak Adult Day Center with roundtrip transportation.

$250 provides 5 students 2 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners each weekend for 3 months

$500 provides home-delivered meals for 3 months.


Winn-Dixie Community Bag Program

We are excited to announce that Winn-Dixie has selected Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee to be a part of the Community Bag Program, making it easy for customers to contribute to their local community while supporting the environment.

For the entire month of February, a $1 donation will be made to Meals on Wheels each time a shopper purchases a reusable Community Bag at the Winn-Dixie located at 1010 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL. You can find the two colorful reusable Community Bags with the Giving Tag on the reusable bag rack at the store. The key is to look for the bags with a tag that features a blue heart with $1 in it.

This is a great way to raise awareness, support the environment and fundraise for our cause.


Food for Federal Employees

We Feed Manatee! The partial federal government shutdown has ended for now, but its consequences have made a more lasting impression. Furloughed for more than a month, federal workers are still recovering. Families affected by the shutdown can find food and resources at one of the 100 partner agencies of The Food Bank of Manatee. Click here, for a partner agency directory.


Appliances Needed!

Meals on Wheels PLUS is looking for appliances for homebound clients. Microwaves and small reach-in refrigerators are an immediate need.

Meals on Wheels PLUS volunteers and staff go through food-safety training to ensure that delivered food is safe for clients to eat. Volunteers cannot leave meals unattended unless there is a way to refrigerate them and the best way to reheat frozen weekend and holiday meals is in a microwave.

You can donate gently used appliances at the Meals on Wheels PLUS operations office, 811 23rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208 or Daybreak Adult Day Center, 10920 State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

 


Can Sculpture and Food Drive

In January, the Rotary Club of Palmetto hosted a can sculpture and food drive benefiting The Food Bank of Manatee at the Manatee County Fair. Teams from Timberlake cabinetry, Cream of the Crop 4-H Club, Boys and Girls Club of Manatee, Palmetto Rotary, 4-H’ers of Duette, FELT(Feeding Empty Little Tummies), and Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee collected 5,409 cans of food to build their sculptures.

Judges awarded ribbons for:

  • Most Cans Used in Can Sculpture: Timberlake Cabinetry
  • Best Use of Labels: Meals on Wheels PLUS
  • Judges Favorite Can Sculpture: Cream of Crop 4-H Club
  • Most Creative Can Sculpture: Boys and Girls Club
  • Honorable Mention: FELT
  • Honorable Mention: 4-H’ers of Duette

Friendship Dining Open House

The Friendship Dining Program had an open house on January 31, 2019 at the Enrichment Center. Participants from the Journey Friendship Center joined in to welcome guests interested in joining. Staff and volunteers served snacks and drinks while participants played Nutrition Education BINGO, followed by lunch. Click here to learn more about the Meals on Wheels PLUS Friendship Dining Program.