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

October 2022 News Updates


In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, volunteers and staff of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee have assisted to meet basic needs throughout Manatee County.

Though the impacts from Hurricane Ian are far from over, we are proud of the work we have done to feed our community both before and after the storm.

Before Hurricane Ian made landfall, we contacted all our Home-delivered Meal clients to ensure they had enough food to endure the storm and knew about evacuation options. We also provided food to our network of 80+ food pantries and partner agencies so they would be prepared to mobilize quickly when the storm passed. After the storm, we conducted Emergency Food Distributions in Lincoln Park, Pride Park, Myakka City, and Duette supplying food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and diapers while also offering continued support of our 80+ food pantries and partner agencies, The School District of Manatee, Easter Seals, and other area programs.

Additional distributions are happening. More information is available here. Want to help? Your tax-deductible gift made online will help us continue to #FeedManatee. All donations stay in Manatee County to help Manatee County residents! Click here to donate.


Due to Hurricane Ian and our relief efforts, we have postponed our celebration and Open House originally scheduled for next week.

Save the Date: Join us for an Open House on Monday, November 14th from 10am-12pm, celebrating 50 years of service in Manatee County!

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 vital 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 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. Join us on November 14th to learn about the PLUS! Click here to RSVP.

Presented by Mosaic

Join us on Sunday, October 23rd at every Publix location in Manatee County to help Stuff the Bus! Since 2009, nearly 1.1 million pounds of food has been donated through the Stuff The Bus food drive.

Over the years this event has evolved to include many Community Partners, including: United Way Suncoast, Publix, Herald-Tribune, and of course the School District of Manatee County!

We are thrilled to have Mosaic as our presenting sponsor this year. 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 County to support this event.

Sunday, October 23, 2022
All Manatee County Publix Locations

Goal: Raise 150,000 pounds of food to feed Manatee County residents! All donations stay in our local community!

For group volunteer sign-ups, please click here.

For individual volunteer sign-ups, please click here.

For more information about Stuff The Bus, click here.


Join Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee as we celebrate hunger-relief in Manatee County! We are proudly celebrating the 22nd 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 3, 2022, at Manatee Performing Arts Center (MPAC) from 11am-1pm and on Friday, November 4, 2022, at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch (LWR) from 11am-1pm.

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!

Click here to buy tickets.


The 17th Annual Holiday Shoebox Drive to benefit Manatee County seniors is under way, and we invite you to join our efforts. Gifts of toiletries, trinkets, and small necessities will be packed in decorated shoeboxes and delivered to homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. Our goal is to provide a gift for 1,000 seniors this year during the Holidays.

Our annual Shoebox Drive is a great way to promote your business while helping a great cause. Donating items, such as a raffle prize from your business, tickets, or a gift card donated by your business will help raise important support.

The Shoebox Drive will continue through December 3, 2022, at our Community Reception at the Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge, 4602 Lena Road, East Bradenton, FL 34211 from 4-6 pm. We hope you will attend this fun, festive party where the community comes together to support this program. Click here for more information.


Beginning in September and continuing through the end of November you can donate your myWalgreens rewards to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. You’ll earn unlimited 1% Walgreens Cash rewards when you sign-up and shop, you can choose how much to donate to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.* It’s that easy. Every dollar counts. Whether you’d like to contribute $1, $5, or more of your Walgreens Cash rewards you’ll be making a big difference. It really adds up! Since 1901, Walgreens has been committed to giving back to our community.

*Must have latest version of the Walgreens mobile app.


Ian Black Real Estate generously sponsored special tote bags for the upcoming Thanksgiving meal delivery for Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee clients. The meal delivery bags provided by Ian Black Real Estate will make the Thanksgiving meal delivery extra special for our clients while also making meal delivery more efficient for volunteers.

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!


There are volunteer opportunities available to everyone. The volunteer story of Demetra W. exemplifies this statement. Demetra was a Registered Nurse in Maryland and retired in 1985. She and her husband were snowbirds and lived on a sailboat when they would come down. Eventually, they bought a condo in downtown Bradenton. Because her husband passed away 5 years ago, Demetra became a year-round resident in Florida in 2021 and wanted to do something that got her out of the house.

Demetra searched for volunteer opportunities in our community. She found Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee online and registered to volunteer, but she did not want to be a Home-delivered Meals driver. She came to the office to discuss possible opportunities that would interest her and help advance our mission. Demetra knew she wanted to do something where she interacted with people. She took a liking to the opportunity of helping with Friendship Dining Centers. Friendship Dining Centers are for people over 60 who would like to make new friends, participate in fun activities, and hear from local experts on a variety of topics as well as enjoy a nutritious meal. “I love helping people and Friendship Dining has a nice group of seniors,” says Demetra.

Inspired by Demetra’s story? You can become a volunteer today by registering here.


Mobile Dynamics hosted a food drive during the month of September to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee. In addition, anyone that donated food was offered a 5% discount on their Mobile Dynamics purchase!

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