2017 Empty Bowls email badge

Empty Bowls 2017

The 17th Annual Empty Bowls ,a luncheon to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee, will be held from 11 am to 1 pm on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at Renaissance on 9th and on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. For 17 years, The Food Bank of Manatee has worked with local businesses and restaurants to produce the annual 2-day luncheon, drawing larger crowds each year.

Guests of these luncheons will enjoy a variety of soup provided by local restaurants with fresh bread, and then select a unique, handcrafted soup bowl to keep. The symbolic meal of soup and bread demonstrates that together, we are feeding Manatee County. Click here to purchase event tickets.

Bartending for a Cause

Join Meals on Wheels PLUS Thursday, November 16, 2017 from 6 to 9 pm for the white-Christmas themed Bartending for a Cause benefiting The 12th Annual Community Holiday Shoe Box Drive. Enjoy drinks crafted by fun guest-bartenders, great food, and lots of raffles at The Ranch Grill located at 14475 State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch.

white christmas
Volunteers food distribution
Volunteer Food Distribution

Feeding Manatee County

The Food Bank of Manatee stepped in post Hurricane Irma to provide food and nutrition to 1,000 households in Manatee County. With the help of our community and dozens of volunteers, we distributed 52,748 pounds of fresh produce, baked goods, frozen meat, shelf-stable canned goods, and rice. In partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, 13 pallets of MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat), 15 pallets of water, and two pallets of potatoes were distributed at Renaissance on 9th.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, more than 133,000 residences were left without power, some for longer than two weeks. Many refrigerators were emptied because of food spoilage making thousands of people in Manatee County food-insecure.

Meals on wheels PLUS of Manatee Celebrates 45 Years

On October 24th, 1972, Helen Blue, Jean McKnight and Reverend Kenneth Bar started cooking 12 TV dinners in an 18-inch oven at Rogers Memorial Church. “They let us use their little kitchen and the oven was a small thing that could only do six meals at a time,” Blue said. “As soon as they were ready, Jean picked them up and delivered them and I started with the next six.”

Today, Meals on Wheels PLUS has grown into something so much bigger! Our program serves an average of 216,000 meals a year to home-bound seniors, owns and operates The Food Bank of Manatee, which distributes more than 4.6 million pounds of food a year, Daybreak Adult Day Center, the only licensed adult day facility in Manatee County, and The Enrichment Center at Renaissance on 9th.

In 2012, Meals on Wheels PLUS welcomed Maribeth Phillips as chief executive officer. She ensured 95 cents of every dollar went back into the PLUS programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS, elevating the organization to a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and securing a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Happy Birthday Meals on Wheels PLUS!

happy birthday MOWP