811 23rd Avenue E., Bradenton, FL 34208 (941) 747-4655

September 2021 News Updates

Fresh Look. Unwavering Mission.

The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, has a fresh new look with a recently redesigned logo.

The new logo includes blueberries, known as a heart-healthy superfood and popular local crop, surrounded by a heart signifying the love we put into feeding our community as we carry out our mission daily.

“Since it opened in 1985, over 55 million pounds of food has been provided to our community through The Food Bank of Manatee. There is a lot of passion and care in this work,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “As we continue our critical mission to meet the needs of food-insecure babies, children, adults, and seniors, we do so with a renewed focus on providing nutritious and vital food,” she added.

The Food Bank of Manatee is an independent food bank, relying 100% on the support of the community. As the only food bank based in Manatee County, The Food Bank of Manatee distributed over 3 million pounds of food to Manatee County residents in 2020. Please consider hosting a food drive or donating online today to show your support for The Food Bank of Manatee!

Stuff The Bus 2021 presented by Mosaic

We are pleased to resume the annual Stuff the Bus event, which was held virtually last year due to the pandemic.

This annual event, which was started in 2009, was created through the kind hearts of the School District of Manatee County Transportation Staff. They wanted to give back to the community and knew of “Stuff the Bus” events in other cities and suggested placing one school bus in front of one Publix store in Manatee County. The leadership of Publix thought it was a great idea and requested a bus at every Publix store in Manatee County.

Since the first Stuff the Bus event twelve years ago, this event has evolved to include many Community Partners, including: United Way Suncoast, iHeart Media, Publix, Herald Tribune, the School District of Manatee County, and of course, the School District of Manatee County Transportation Staff.

We are thrilled to have Mosaic as our presenting sponsor this year. Cablish & Gentile CPA’s, LLC has also offered their financial support of our 2021 event!

All proceeds and donated food will benefit The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS. Please stop by your local Publix in Manatee (now 18 stores) to support this event.

Sunday, October 17, 2021
All Manatee County Publix Locations

Goal: Raise 150,000 pounds of food to feed Manatee County residents!

If you are interested in volunteering for Stuff the Bus, click here.

Eat Well. Do Good.

Help Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee By Dining At Any Columbia Restaurant During the Month of September

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has been selected as a charity of choice for the 24th annual Community Harvest program with Columbia Restaurant Group. This event will take place during the month of September. When you dine at Columbia Restaurants, please select Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee on your ballot and a percentage of your total bill will be donated to Meals on Wheels PLUS in the form of gift certificates. We use the gift certificates in our silent auctions and raffles to generate income to advance our mission! Click for more information.


Join Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee as we celebrate hunger-relief in Manatee County! We are proudly celebrating the 21st Anniversary of our annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser. Enjoy this symbolic meal of soup and bread, demonstrating that together, we can fill the bowls of our neighbors in need.

Empty Bowls will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Manatee Performing Arts Center (MPAC) and on Friday, November 5, 2021, at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch (LWR).

To help, restaurants can provide soup, businesses can sponsor the event, and individuals and businesses can purchase tickets. Show your support for Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee and help us #FEEDMANATEE!

For tickets and more information, click here.

Donor Spotlight

Special thanks to the Wilson-Wood Foundation for their continued support of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee’s Daybreak Adult Day Center program. This important funding helps ensure the highest level of programming and access to quality care for seniors in Manatee County. As the only licensed adult day center in our community, the respite services we offer to our clients and their families is so very important. Thank you Wilson-Wood Foundation for your incredible and ongoing support!

If you are interested in learning more about our current funding needs, there are opportunities for you to help, too! Call us today at 941-747-4655 to find out how!

Volunteer Spotlight

When Melanie isn’t volunteering, she loves weightlifting and being a Health Coach. It’s only natural that when we need to add some muscle to a project, we turn to Melanie.

It has been quite the road for Melanie to get to Bradenton. Originally a home-care nurse in Maine, she has lived in Colorado, Florida, and even Belgium. It is no surprise that her and her family love traveling. She has been to 47 different countries and says that her trip to Australia and New Zealand, which her family did right before the pandemic hit, has to be her favorite.

Prior to volunteering at The Food Bank and the Home-delivered Meals programs, Melanie volunteered at Daybreak Adult Day Center. There she helped set up games for our senior clients and also helped serve their daily meal.

What gives Melanie the most satisfaction from volunteering now? Always on the lookout for a great workout, “I just love sorting the food at The Food Bank,” she says. Inspired by Melanie’s story? You can become a volunteer today by registering here.

Community Spotlight

Thanks to the generous grant from Sisterhood for Good, Meals on Wheels PLUS will be better able to handle the impacts in Manatee County from COVID-19 through our #Food4Families program.

“In 2021, an average of over 530 families have been served each week through this program,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS. “The need in Manatee County is not going away.”

Since March 2020, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has provided over 1.2 million meals to local families through our COVID-relief program #Food4Families. The Food4Families program was started in response to the global pandemic.

As an independent food bank, The Food Bank of Manatee relies 100% on community support. Monetary and food donations go a long way toward combating hunger in our local community! Click here to donate.