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

June 2022 News Updates


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

“As we continue to emerge from the many impacts of COVID-19, there is a great need for seniors to come together for friendship, fellowship, and nutrition- Friendship Dining Centers help to meet those needs,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Prior to COVID-19, we had three Friendship Dining Centers in operation, and we are excited to reopen this program for Manatee County residents,” she added.

The Friendship Dining Center Program invites people over 60 who would like to make new friends, participate in fun activities, and hear from local experts on a variety of topics to join us for food and fun!

If you are interested in more information or want to schedule a tour, please click here.


Before the global pandemic, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee delivered to approximately 540 clients five days a week. Fast-forward two years later and now there are currently just under 1,000 clients that receive Home-delivered Meals on 91 routes throughout Manatee County. Modified operations that began in March of 2020 to limit direct contact for both clients and volunteers included one delivery each week with volunteer deliveries on just two days—eventually expanded to three. Beginning in June, weekly meal deliveries will expand to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. This additional delivery day would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for the Home-delivered Meals program, please click here.


Initially created in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic in March of 2020, the Food4Families program was created to provide critical nutrition to Manatee County residents in need. The effects of inflation and rising gas, food and rent prices are making it harder to afford living on the Suncoast for many residents. “It’s scary for a lot of people who are having to decide between buying food to feed my family, or putting gas in the car so I can get to work,” said Amy Towery, V.P. of Development.

Events are free of charge and provide families with bags of food that include breakfast lunch and dinner to last a family of five two or more days. These are the June and July locations, dates, and times of the Food4Families distributions:

Thursdays 10:30am-11:30am
Southeast High School

1200 37th Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208

Fridays 11:00am-11:30am
River Trace Apartments

2710 River Trace Cir, Bradenton, FL 34208

Fridays 12:00pm-1:00pm
Turner Chapel

317 11th St Dr W, Palmetto, FL 34221

Fridays 1:00pm-2:00pm
Pride Park 815

63rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34203

Fridays 1:30pm-2:30pm
Lincoln Park 501

17th Street East, Palmetto, FL 34208

We still have available shifts to distribute food and continue to need volunteers to pack the food bags weekly. Please click here if you are interested.


On Saturday, May14th, letter carriers performed double duty—delivering mail and picking up food donations. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive food donations in Manatee were brought back to the Bradenton Beach, Palmetto, Ellenton, and Parrish post offices and donated to The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.

Volunteers helped at each of the post offices to help collect and pack the food donations for The Food Bank of Manatee. A special thanks goes to Boar’s Head, who supplied lunches to the postal workers and volunteers for this special event.


As our services and number of clients continue to expand, we are more reliant on volunteers to help us with our mission. In addition to the food bank and meal-delivery opportunities, there are new shifts that will greatly help local seniors and families.

These include:

  • Friendly visits to isolated, homebound seniors
  • Office assistance with the Client Services staff
  • Help cleaning The Food Bank of Manatee
  • Answering phone calls at The Food Bank of Manatee
  • Reception/Welcome Desk
  • And much more!

Interested in volunteering? You can become a volunteer today by registering here.


The Food Bank of Manatee is an independent Food Bank and the only Food Bank based in Manatee County. That means we rely 100% on the support of our community to make sure the shelves are always stocked! With the rising costs we are all experiencing for housing, gas, and food, many families are turning to our network of food pantries for assistance. We need businesses, organizations, neighborhoods, faith groups and families to help feed food-insecure families. You can greatly impact our community by coordinating a Food Drive! Click here to register your Food Drive!

Have food to donate? You can drop off at any Manatee County Goodwill or Public Library location. Just look for the yellow barrel. You can also donate here at The Food Bank of Manatee (811 23rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208) weekdays between the hours of 9am-3pm. Help us #FeedManatee


On Friday, May 6th, the local community came out for Music on Main, a free concert and block party that was open to the public! Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee was designated the beneficiary of the event, which was hosted by Lakewood Ranch Communities. The event raised over $2,200 to benefit our mission.

The event ran from 6-9 pm on Lakewood Ranch Main Street and featured rock, soul, and R&B performer Paul Fournier. The street was lined with food vendors, beer trucks, and sponsor booths, as well as rides and activities for the kids. It was a ton of fun and all for a good cause!

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


Employees at Fifth Third Bank celebrated Fifth Third Day by volunteering at The Food Bank of Manatee.They have focused the past 10 years on helping families that are food insecure. Fifth Third Bank understands that hunger is an issue that impacts every community in the United States.

“Engaging in volunteerism activities on Fifth Third Day gives our employees opportunities to provide food to families in need. Fifth Third Bank is changing lives one person and one community at a time,” said Melissa Stevens, executive vice president, head of digital and marketing, and Fifth Third Day corporate champion.

Interested in volunteering? You can become a volunteer today by registering here.


The Lakewood Ranch High School ceramics classes recently held a successful fundraiser to help support the mission of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. The students created and sold ceramic bowls they created to help many within the local community who struggle to feed their families. The class sold over 150 bowls and raised $2,500 in proceeds that were donated to The Food Bank of Manatee. In addition, the bowls that were not sold were donated to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee to be used at our Empty Bowls event in November. The students’ teacher, Laura V., said, “I am very proud of my students for understanding the meaning and importance of their efforts, but even more than excited to announce two more fundraisers next year during the winter and spring.”

If you are interested in learning more about ways to support Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, click here!