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October 2021 News Updates

Stuff The Bus 2021 presented by Mosaic

It’s October… and that means our annual Stuff the Bus event is back! Please mark your calendars now for Sunday, October 17th and plan to donate non-perishable food items at all Manatee County Publix locations and help us Stuff the Bus!

Since the first Stuff the Bus event twelve years ago, this event has evolved to include many Community Partners, including: Mosaic, 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 donate non-perishable food items and help us to #FeedManatee!

Sunday, October 17, 2021
All Manatee County Publix Locations

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

All volunteers for Stuff the Bus must pre-register due to COVID-19 safety precautions. For more information about Stuff the Bus, click here.


Please join us as to help feed those in need in Manatee County! We are proudly celebrating the 21st Anniversary of our annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser. Guests will 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 using the buttons below. Show your support for Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee and help us #FEEDMANATEE!

Click here for more information.


Please join us for our 16th Annual Shoebox Collection on December 4th at the Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge. We need 1,000 shoeboxes to deliver to seniors throughout Manatee County. These boxes are oftentimes their only holiday presents. Many of our seniors live alone and are so grateful to receive a special gift box during the holiday season. Please help us bring joy this year for Manatee County seniors.

If you can sponsor to help fill boxes, or donate filled boxes, we need your help! Click here for more information.

Donor Spotlight

Special thanks to the Bishop-Parker Foundation for their generous grant to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. This vital funding helps programs like #Food4Families which is necessary to so many families affected by the global pandemic. Since March 2020, this program has distributed over 1.3 million meals to local families.

If you are interested in learning more about our current funding needs, there are opportunities for you to help, too! Contact us to find out how!

Volunteer Spotlight

Bringing smiles to our Home-delivered Meal clients – that’s what brings joy to Cindy, a volunteer at Meals on Wheels PLUS.

Originally from St. Louis, and of course a Cardinals fan, Cindy and her family moved to Florida about 15 years ago. After teaching at various schools on the East and West Coasts of Florida, she retired last year. Cindy did a simple Google search ‘volunteering opportunities in Manatee County’ and found us.

What is volunteering like for Cindy? “I can’t say enough about how friendly the staff is at Meals on Wheels PLUS! They make volunteering so enjoyable,” she says.

What’s gives Cindy the most satisfaction from volunteering? “I love being with the people and knowing that I am helping others. One client is waiting for me when I make a delivery with a smile on his face” she says. Inspired by Cindy’s story? You can become a volunteer today by registering here.

Community Spotlight

Goodwill Manasota is a valued Community Partner. As a designated drop-off location, they are an integral part of collecting critically-needed food items to help #FeedManatee.

Through August of this year, we have collected over 67,000 pounds of food through the Goodwill Manasota locations. Be sure to visit your nearest Goodwill Manasota location and donate food that can greatly assist local families.

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! Look for the yellow barrel to make your donation and get involved today! Click here for food drop-off locations.