Of all the powerful things in this world, few move me more than a child’s imagination.
From play-fighting dragons in the backyard to building a Lego empire, kids have a way of seeing life with wonder. They can be anything they want to be, building a whole world within their imagination.
Every child should have the freedom to imagine – and as adults, this kind of dreaming doesn’t have to end. But for more than 1 million people in our community, the strain of hunger and financial instability robs them of the ability to dream, the ability to imagine a future of opportunity.
That’s why Feeding Tampa Bay’s mission to change lives, one meal at a time and beyond, is so vital for our community’s health, wellbeing and vibrancy.
Hunger in Our Community
In our community, one in four children go to bed wondering if they’ll be hungry again tomorrow. Hunger hides in plain sight, among thousands of children and families. Most of us know someone who is hungry – your child’s classmate, a neighbor or colleague, or maybe even a close friend.
Even so, hunger is a solvable problem. We have the solutions to provide greater access to food and eliminate this need in families’ and children’s lives.
Here are a few ways we’re making it happen:
Food for Today
Since our community’s needs are ever-changing, Feeding Tampa Bay is constantly evolving, bringing new innovative solutions to provide 85 million meals each year for people in need.
From providing fresh groceries at bus stops to joining forces with public schools and opening on-site pantries, we’re working to ensure anyone in need of immediate access to food or resources knows exactly where to find them.
Food for Tomorrow
While all our interactions begin with food, they lead to so much more. We convene resources with the goal of connecting our neighbors to long-term stability.
We often meet parents like Anthony, a single father struggling to make ends meet. After we helped him apply for SNAP benefits, Anthony can now stretch his monthly income to provide nutritious food for his daughter without stressing about also paying the electric bill or mortgage.
When we reach people in need where they are, we aim to break down barriers like cost, mobility and transportation to help people access food to keep them healthy.
Food for a Lifetime
Our mission extends beyond providing food alone.
Through programs like our FRESHforce workforce training and our nutrition education, we aim to break the cycle of hunger and provide critical stepping stones to self-sustainability.
Take a moment and imagine with us — imagine a future without hunger. It might sound aspirational, but in a very real way, Feeding Tampa Bay is making it happen.
For over 40 years, we’ve worked tirelessly alongside our network of 400+ partner pantries and the community. And the real work has only just begun. A future with more smiles, more unity and more opportunity is within our reach.
See what Feeding Tampa Bay has in store: Visit feedingtampabay.org/bignews
*Presented by Feeding Tampa Bay. | Originally published in December 2022 of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.