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: http://nutritionsmart.com/stores/carrollwood.html
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)
Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Central.