Thursday, June 21, 2012

School is Out, but So is the Food for Many Families in Need

School is out for the summer!  That brings shouts of joy from many school age children who look forward to doing many fun summer activities such as going to summer camp, going to the beach, going to the pool, hanging out at the mall, going to the movies, playing sports, and just hanging out at home playing boardgames with the family.  Summer is filled with wonderful foods:  making hotdogs, hamburgers, and chicken on the grill; slicing juicy red watermelons on a hot day; making chicken salad sandwiches and coleslaw; and don't forget the peach and berry smoothies that make your mouth do a dance! 

Unfortunately, not all families and not all children look at summer as a time of blessing and overflowing food.  Many families in our community struggle even more than usual in the summertime to put enough food on the table for their children.  Many families rely on the public school system to feed their children breakfast and lunch each day.  When school ends, it means that the food runs out faster in their house.  They do not have enough money to pay for the rent, the electricity, and put food on the table for 3 meals a day for their children.  Where do they turn?  Many families in need turn to Metropolitan Ministries for help.

How would you feel if you were a single mom trying to raise your three kids and all you had to feed them in the refrigerator was a pitcher of water and a jar of peanut butter? 

This is where we can help!  Food donations are low right now at Metropolitan Ministries. There are especially a low number of food items right now in the Tampa Gluten Free Food Pantry.  If you can help, please bring Gluten Free Non-Perishable Foods to: 

Nutrition S'Mart of Carrollwood 
 14847 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL. 33618
(813) 908-9500
*Please put one or more of the following GF food donations in the Blue Food Barrel by the Exit of Nutrition S'Mart of Carrollwood:

*GF Cereal
*GF Canned Fruit
*GF Bread Mix
*GF Peanut Butter
*GF Jam/Jelly
*GF Pasta
*GF Pasta Sauce
*GF Rice
*GF Beans
*GF Canned Soup
*Other GF Dinner Ideas (GF Macaroni and Cheese, GF Hamburger Helper, GF Beef Stew, etc.)
*Box of GF Cookies
*Box of GF Cake Mix or GF Brownie Mix
 Thank you to everyone who opens their heart and is able to give food to help these GF Families! God bless!

Spring Report for Tampa Gluten Free Food Pantry

Gluten Free Friends of Tampa wants to thank the Gluten Free for Life Expo Coordinators for letting us set up a table and several GF food collection bins at the GF Expo in St. Petersburg in March.  We also want to thank all of the people who donated GF non-perishable food during their trip to the Expo!  We also had generous donations from several of the GF food vendors who had leftover samples at the end of the Expo.  We were able to fill 4 big blue food barrels with gluten free food donations and more!  My husband's pickup truckbed and backseat were both filled to capacity with donations.  What a blessing!

These GF food donations from the GF for Life Expo were brought to the Tampa Gluten Free Food Pantry at Metropolitan Ministries and were able to feed many GF families in need here in our community this spring.

The Staff at Metropolitan Ministries have thanked me repeatedly for organizing GF food drives and bringing GF food to their emergency food pantry (known as the Metro Market).  They have a number of GF clients/families who previously were only able to take home a few cans of fruits and vegetables from their Metro Market.  Now they are able to bring home some "real food" to feed their families.  They are now able to go to the GF section of the Metro Market and pick out GF pasta, GF canned soup, GF rice, GF cereal, and other options thanks to the generosity of our local gluten free support groups.

Thank you for bringing smiles and hope to the GF families in need here in Tampa!