September 2017 eNews

Empty Plate
Nothing Runs on Empty

September is Hunger Action Month

We are asking the residents of Manatee County to take action against hunger. This is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on the efforts to feed Manatee County. We invite you to wear orange on September 14th to show your support on Hunger Action Day.

Advocate In Three Easy Ways:

  1. Social Media
    Grab a plate and write what you can’t do on an empty stomach. Post, tag, and share to your social networks with #HungerActionMonth @FoodBankOfManatee.
  2. Donate
    Donate non-perishable, critically-needed items to The Food Bank of Manatee or invest with a gift for your community.
  3. Volunteer
    We need your time and talents to continue serving our community.

Click here for more information about Hunger Action Month.

20th Annual Columbia Restaurant Community Harvest

The Columbia Restaurant will host its 20th Annual Community Harvest Charity Fundraising Event. Meals on Wheels PLUS is a beneficiary and the Community Harvest is an easy and delicious way for you to participate. Dine at the Columbia Restaurant during the entire month of September, designate us as your charity, and Columbia Restaurant will donate 5% of your bill to Meals on Wheels PLUS. Make your reservations here.

Logo 20th community harvest
Painting Party

Artists Needed! (Experience Not Required)

Join us to paint bowls that will be used during the Empty Bowls luncheon benefiting The Food Bank of Manatee. Chat, paint and have fun! Supplies provided. Bring friends! Seats are limited!

Empty Bowls serves as a reminder of all the empty bowls in Manatee County that don’t get filled with food.

Thursday, September 7 from 5-7pm at Painting with a Twist, 5917 Manatee Avenue West Suite 209, Bradenton, FL 34209. Feel free to bring your own light bites & refreshments.
Make your reservations here.

Stuff the Bus to Combat Childhood Hunger

Join United Way Suncoast, Publix, Tropicana, 92.1 CTQ, iHeart Media, and The School District of Manatee County in the 8th Annual Stuff the Bus campaign to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee.

The Stuff the Bus event will be held at all 15 Manatee County Publix locations on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 9am-3pm.

Each Publix location will have critical food items available for purchase and customers will be able to help fill up the school bus in the parking lot by making a food donation.

Volunteers are needed to help Stuff the Bus at each of the 15 Publix locations in Manatee County. Click here to volunteer through United Way Suncoast.

Stuff the Bus

Discovering Talent at Daybreak

I wanted to thank everyone at Daybreak Adult Day Center. You all did an amazing job of making my mother [Lucile] feel like she had an extended family and friends. She was engaged and looked forward to seeing you every time she visited your center. Mom is very special to me and I take her care and well-being very seriously. Gene [Daybreak Manager] and Kim [Daybreak’s Registered Nurse] did an incredible job of discovering mom’s hidden talents and tapping into her background. I work in assisted living as an Administrator and I haven’t seen this type of love and care (except in my community, lol) in a very long time.” – Anthony Perry

We wish safe journey to Lucile and her son, Anthony, as they relocate to a new city.

If you have a story you would like to share, please email Michael Winters, Marketing Coordinator at

7 Ways to Give Back

Whether you donate money or time, giving back is beneficial–and not just for the recipients. Besides feeling good about yourself for doing something for others, giving back is also good for your physical health. Studies have shown a relationship between volunteering and increased self-esteem, with volunteers reporting both greater personal empowerment and better health.

Here are some ideas to get started giving back in Manatee County:

Volunteer for Meals on Wheels PLUS
Bayside Volunteers

1. Drive for Meals on Wheels PLUS
Meals on Wheels PLUS delivers 53 routes in Manatee County. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of this organization, delivering nearly 229,000 meals in 2016. Volunteer drivers are always needed, especially in the summer time when our northern friends return home. To get started delivering hot, nutritious meals and smiles, contact Jackie Godlewski at

2. Pack/Sort at the Food Bank of Manatee
As food donations come in to the Food Bank, volunteers organize and sort similar foods. Bulk foods are then distributed to more than 115 local pantries, agencies, soup kitchens, and social service organizations. Volunteers also pack emergency kits for food-insecure Manatee county residents that will feed a family for a week. Emergency Baby Baskets contain critical need items such as formula, baby food, diapers and wipes. Summer Weekend Food Sacks ensure children have food over the weekend during the summer. To get involved, contact Cindy Sloan at

3. Organize a Fundraiser
You can make a difference! Ask you company or organization to host a fundraiser. Set goals, come up with creative theme ideas such as a $5 jean day at work or a $5 pot-luck luncheon. 95 cents of every dollar received goes right back into PLUS Programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. For help setting up a fundraiser, contact Diana Dill, or Stephanie Grepling,

4. Adopt a Beautification Project
Gather a team and pick a day to come help out. Community groups are encouraged to adopt a clean-up project with the purpose of beautifying and helping maintain facilities. A beautification project is not only helpful but can bring together a group of friends or co-workers, promote team building, and giving back. To organize a beautification project, contact Joe Stoddard at

5. Host a Food Drive
Food drives are a very important source of donations for The Food Bank of Manatee. These food drives also are a great way to spread awareness about The Food Bank of Manatee and the need for hunger prevention in our community. Businesses, schools, civic organizations, and clubs are encouraged to host food drives. Hunger has no season! We welcome food drives any time throughout the year. To set up a food drive for your organization, contact Cindy Sloan at

6. Corporate 1:1 Match a Fundraiser
As a business owner, matching donations made by employees to Meals on Wheels PLUS or The Food Bank of Manatee is a great way to support employee charitable giving and to extend corporate philanthropy. To set up a corporate match fundraiser, contact Diana Dill at

7. Care and Share
Organizations that are looking for a volunteer opportunity for larger groups (15-30 volunteers) can participate in The Food Bank of Manatee’s Care and Share Program. We ask the organization to sponsor food distribution at a cost of $1,000. This helps pay for our trucks, our staff, and the cost of food and boxes. Their volunteers pack the boxes on site and hand them out to the clients at one of our affiliate food pantries. To set up a care and share sponsorship project, contact Diana Dill at