Thursday, November 21, 2013

Update on the 3rd Annual GF Holiday Food Drive--Please Help To Make A GF Family Thanksgiving!

The Tampa Gluten Free Food Pantry will be doing a 3rd Annual GF Holiday Food Drive from     November 23rd through December 28th.  We are trying to collect holiday meal non-perishable GF food donations for GF families in need that go to Metropolitan Ministries for help.  This year is extra special because it is the first time that we have had requests for GF Holiday Boxes!  There are a growing number of families in need requesting GF food on a regular basis at the emergency food pantry and this year some have come forward to say they need help with getting GF food for their holiday meals. 

 When I have gone to restock the Tampa Gluten Free Food Pantry this Fall, I have spoken to the Metropolitan Ministries Staff Members who are there day in and day out and they have told me several stories that keep me motivated to help.  Recently a woman came to the food pantry with her daughter to get some emergency food rations, but explained to the staff that her daughter has food allergies and must have gluten free food.  The wonderful staff led the woman and her daughter into the emergency food pantry and over to the GF food section.  The little girl was all excited and said, "Mommy, look at all of this gluten free food!"  The staff shared with me that the mother was crying with relief that there was food that her daughter could eat and not get sick.  The little girl was acting like she was in a candy shop with how excited she was picking out food from the shelves.  

Another mother recently e-mailed me asking about GF Holiday Boxes and explained that she does not usually ask anyone for help, but they could definitely use some help this year.  The mom has five kids and two of the five have already been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  One of her little daughters has been in and out of the hospital a lot and the medical bills are growing.  She has had to quit her job to stay home and try to help her daughter get better so now they only have one paycheck instead of two, yet more expenses.  This story and many more motivate me to try to help GF families in need and to reach out to more GF community members to try and help as the need grows.  

Please help by buying some of the GF nonperishable holiday food items in the list below and dropping them into the Metropolitan Ministries blue food barrel at Nutrition S'Mart of Carrollwood.  Nutrition S'Mart is the only local health food store so far that has supported us by agreeing to let us keep a food barrel at the exit to their store.  Please support this local business that is supporting us by buying GF food from them to donate!  Here is their website for more details on their location:

 Gluten Free Holiday Box of Hope:
  • 1 Gluten Free Whole Turkey or Gift Certificate for a Turkey
  • GF Mashed Potatoes (1 box)
  • GF Gravy (1 container)
  • GF Stuffing (1 box)
  • GF Rice (1 box or bag)
  • GF Canned Black Beans (2 cans)
  • GF Canned Vegetables (2 cans)
  • GF Canned Fruit or Jars of Applesauce (2 cans)
  • GF Cranberry Sauce (2 cans)
  • GF Canned Pumpkin (1 can)
  • GF Bisquick or GF Multipurpose Flour (1 box)
  • GF Dessert Mix (1 box of GF Cake Mix or 1 box of GF Brownie Mix)
  • GF Cookies (1 box)
  • GF Pudding (2 boxes)
  • GF Cereal (1 box)
  • GF Oatmeal (1 box)                                                       
 If you are interested in helping more with the GF Holiday Food Drive, please contact Katrina Tiller at   If you are interested in helping more with Metropolitan Ministries' efforts to help all families in need during this holiday season, here is the website for more information:
Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Central.