MEALS ON WHEELS PLUS SACKS SUMMER HUNGER!
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. “The need for food is so much higher during the summer months when kids are out of school, especially now with the rising costs related to inflation,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Donations trend downward during the summer while demand soars. We appreciate all the support we receive from the community to make sure kids will have food this summer,” she added.
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. The June and July locations, dates, and times of the Food4Families distributions include:
Southeast High School
1200 37th Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208
Manatee Mobile Home Park
2204 Manatee Ave E., Bradenton, FL 34208
317 11th St Dr W, Palmetto, FL 34221
815 63rd Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34203
501 17th Street East, Palmetto, FL 34221
In Need of Food? If you or someone you know is in need of food, please visit us at the locations/times listed above. Additional food distribution locations are listed here.
Want to Volunteer? 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 in volunteering!
Want to Donate to Support Summer Hunger? An anonymous donor has issued a $100,000 Challenge Gift for all donations in support of our Summer Hunger/Food4Families efforts received before July 31, 2023. Please make your gift today! Make your secure gift online by clicking here. Thank you! Together, #WeFeedManatee!
PARRISH HOME GOODS SUPPORTS MEALS ON WHEELS PLUS OF MANATEE AT THEIR GRAND OPENING
DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Home Goods recently opened a new location in Parrish, FL. As part of their Grand Opening, the General Manager, Amy, selected Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee for a $10,000 donation. This generous donation will help feed food-insecure families in Manatee County. If you are looking for ways to support the Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee mission to #FeedManatee, please click here.
STUDENTS AT LAKEWOOD RANCH HIGH SCHOOL HELP FILL EMPTY BOWLS
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: 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 to help many within the local community who struggle to feed their families. Proceeds from the event were donated to The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. In addition, students donated bowls 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 excited to announce two more fundraisers next year during the winter and spring.” Thank you Lakewood Ranch High School for your support of our critical mission.
STAMP OUT HUNGER FOOD DRIVE
On Saturday, May 13th, letter carriers performed double duty—delivering mail and picking up food donations. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive food donations in Manatee County were brought back to the Bradenton Beach, Palmetto, Ellenton, Myakka, and Parrish post offices and donated to The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. Over 18,500 pounds of food was collected to help feed local children, families, and seniors in Manatee County.
Volunteers helped at each of the post office locations to collect and pack the food donations for The Food Bank of Manatee. A special thanks to Boar’s Head, who supplied lunches to the postal workers and volunteers for this special event.
FIESTA. SIESTA. REPEAT. DAYBREAK ADULT DAY CENTER CELEBRATES CINCO DE MAYO
¡Vamos a tener una fiesta! Our Daybreak Adult Day Center clients celebrated Cinco De Mayo on May 5th with exciting theme-filled activities and food. To begin the day, the clients enjoyed cinnamon stick “churros” and then watched the movie The Three Amigos. After, they decorated maracas and danced to festive music while enjoying chips and salsa along with their choice of non-alcoholic beer or margaritas. And finally, the clients played Cinco De Mayo BINGO to conclude the celebration.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the over 60 clients currently enrolled at Daybreak Adult Day Center, click here for more information.
VOLUNTEER MEAL-DELIVERY DRIVERS NEEDED FOR HOME-DELIVERED MEALS CLIENTS
As more and more clients are added to our Home-delivered Meals program, the need for volunteer drivers increases. We currently have an urgent need for Home-delivered Meals volunteer drivers. Volunteers typically deliver the same route once a week or serve as a substitute driver on various routes as needed. Routes vary in size with an average time commitment of 2 hours. A week’s worth of meals are delivered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 10am-2pm to homebound seniors in Manatee County. You can help us make it happen!
Meal delivery drivers must be 18 years of age and older. Jumpers (or passengers) younger than 18 years old are welcome to join a trusted adult for meal delivery. Volunteers must complete training, a Zoom orientation class, and pass a background check before they are able to sign up for meal delivery. If you are interested in volunteering as a Home-delivered Meals driver, please click here.
FRIENDSHIP DINING TRAVELS TO THE AFRICAN COUNTRY OF MOROCCO
Friendship Dining enjoyed “getting on a plane” and traveling to Morocco. After getting their passports stamped with a Moroccan stamp, the clients enjoyed Moroccan tea and pastries, colored artwork that was reflective of the area, played a word search game with a Moroccan theme, and watched a belly dancing video. This is just one of the many activities organized for local seniors at the Friendship Dining Center. If you or someone you know is a senior and could benefit from these social activities, please click here.
Our thanks to the Movement Mortgage Southwest Florida Gulf Coast volunteers who came to lend a hand at The Food Bank of Manatee. With a focus on investing time and resources in the local community, Movement Mortgage volunteers helped pack bags of non-perishable food items for the Sack Summer Hunger/Food4Families food distributions that will take place over the 9-week school break from June through August. “We are all about people and serving our community. I’m inspired by this work. I didn’t realize how many people in our community need help,” said Sheri McFarland, Marketing, Outreach, and Special Events Director for Movement Mortgage Southwest Florida Gulf Coast. “Especially with the economy right now, this food will be such a blessing to so many families,” she added.
The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, plans to distribute 180,000 meals through the Sack Summer Hunger/Food4Families program this summer. As an independent Food Bank, this program is made possible through private donations from our caring community. Just $30 can provide 30 meals. Join us in feeding those in need this summer! If you or someone you know is in need of food, click here to learn more. If you can donate to help others, click here to donate.