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

January 2022 News Updates


For 50 years, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has served the local community. Since 1972, we have delivered over 11 million meals to homebound seniors, distributed tens of millions of pounds of food to local families, and provided social services for local seniors. As a result, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has been recognized by numerous organizations time and again as the best nonprofit organization in Manatee County.

Initially founded with the purpose of providing hot, nutritious meals to the elderly and disabled residents of Manatee County, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee became so much more. The organization grew over the years in response to community needs, and the “PLUS” was eventually added to the name as a way of representing the many other services offered. We have been and will continue to be an advocate for those who are isolated, hungry, alone, and in need of hope. Impacting thousands of individuals each year, the programs and services we provide have been a literal lifeline to babies, children, families, adults, and seniors in Manatee County.

“We are an organization built and sustained by the support of our generous community,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Millions of meals have been provided in Manatee County since our organization was first established in 1972, which is a true testament to the need and the community support We are grateful as Manatee County takes care of Manatee County,” she added.

Thank you for supporting our mission to feed our community!


The 28th Annual Tropical Nights, A Royal Affair, benefiting Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, will take place on Saturday, March 26th. This event promises to be a unique experience! There are several sponsorship levels and ticket options for Tropical Nights 2022—all fit for a Royal King and Queen!

We hope you will join us as we have some jolly, good fun! All proceeds from Tropical Nights stay right here in our local community. So, Save the date, put on your crowns and tiaras, and get ready to join A Royal Affair! Click here for more information.


Although the impacts of COVID-19 lessened in 2021, the effects of inflation brought and will continue to bring an increased need for our services. In 2021, Meals on Wheels PLUS:

  • Delivered over 328,000 Home-delivered Meals to over 985 clients—more than double our pre-pandemic client count and nearly 61,000 more meals than in 2020
  • Provided over 5.7 million meals to Manatee County families in need
  • Had over 13,500 volunteer hours served by over 2,000 volunteers
  • Distributed over 3.1 million pounds of food through the Food Bank of Manatee
  • Deliver over 87,000 pounds of produce through Produce on Wheels and Mobile Produce Pantries
  • Provided pet food for over 500 pets through our Pet Food Program
  • Delivered meals to Home-delivered Meals clients via nearly 90 delivery routes

Our Food4Families program was able to help so many people in the community. “I had no job and had to pay back $7,000 in back rent. I found a job that I love, but still couldn’t make ends meet. Pastor Becky and her team from Resonate Church have helped me with their Food4Familes food distributions for the last 3 months…I now live in a safe environment and have the back rent almost entirely paid,”  says a local resident.

With the help of the local community, we can continue to increase our impact. There are many ways you can help such as volunteering, donating funds, or hosting food collections. . Call 941-747-4655 to see how you can impact 2022.


We are proud to announce the reopening of Daybreak Adult Day Center, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the Daybreak Adult Day Center suspended operations to ensure client, staff, and volunteer safety.

“We are so happy to be able to reopen our Daybreak program,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Given the many impacts of COVID-19 on the senior population, we have made every effort to safeguard our clients during the closure. It is a truly joyous day for us to be able to welcome our clients back,” she added.

Daybreak Adult Day Center provides a safe, secure environment for seniors in our community, offering social, recreational, and therapeutic activities designed to meet the needs of older adults who live at home with a loved one but cannot be left alone while their caregiver works or attends to other responsibilities. Daybreak Adult Day Center is the only licensed adult day center in Manatee County and a Registered Nurse is on site daily.

If you are interested in learning more about or scheduling a tour of Daybreak Adult Day Center, call 941-748-3001 or click here.


A special thanks to the Manatee River Garden Club who came to our Daybreak Adult Day Center, prior to its reopening, to help beautify the outdoor area for our returning and new clients. For more information about our Daybreak Adult Day Center, please call 941-748-3001 or click here.


Thanks to the sponsors, volunteers, and donors that made the 2021 Holiday Shoebox Collection a tremendous success. Over 1,500 holiday shoeboxes were collected and given to our senior clients as well as other isolated, local seniors. These shoeboxes are often times the only gift many of our clients receive during the holiday season.

Many of our clients told us how much they appreciated the gifts and added, “all the items were just what I needed,” and “thank you for all you do and I can’t wait to open my shoebox on Christmas.”


Without our annual sponsors, we could not succeed in our mission to assist individuals in living independently by providing nutrition and caring, supportive services.

Community Champions:
Cool Today
Grove Restaurant
Manatee Memorial Hospital
Pier 22
Sara & Steve Bayard
The Steven and Natalee Herrig Family Foundation
Wilson-Wood Foundation

Platinum Sponsors:
Aqua Plumbing & Air
Gettel Foundation
It Works
Hernando Desoto Historical Society
James M. Doss Foundation
Lakewood Ranch Communities
Suncoast Credit Union
TDS Construction
Ty & Liza Gardner
Woodruff & Sons

Silver Sponsor:

Bronze Sponsors:
Blalock Walters, PA
Cox Chevrolet
Good News Pest Control
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center
North River Ranch
Outback Steakhouse, Cortez
Ravin Consultants
Stillman’s Tree Service


Thanks to a generous grant from the William G. & Marie Selby Foundation, we will be able to fund improvements and add programs at our newly-built Nutrition Center. This donation will allow us to serve residents of our community by providing a social gathering venue, add equipment for educational presentations, and enhance social activities. The addition of the William G. & Marie Selby Foundation Nutrition Services Center and Patio will greatly benefit Manatee County residents. We look forward to seeing the positive impact these funds will make.

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!


With so many holiday shoeboxes donated, we needed some swashbucklers to help deliver them to our local clients. The Anna Maria Island Privateers swung in to rescue us. Dressed in their pirate costumes, members of the organization happily surprised our clients with their Holiday Shoeboxes. As we hear so often, the AMI Privateers were touched by how thankful the clients are to receive this gift.

Inspired by AMI Privateers’ story and interested in volunteering? You can become a volunteer today by registering here or by calling 941-747-4655.


This past September the Community Harvest program was held by the Columbia Restaurant Group. Customers who dined at Columbia Restaurants could select Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee on their ballot and a percentage of their total bill would be donated to Meals on Wheels PLUS in the form of gift certificates. We are excited to announce that $2,700 was donated to Meals on Wheels PLUS as a result of the Community Harvest. We will use the gift certificates in our silent auctions and raffles to generate income to advance our mission!