Feeding Tampa Bay helps provide holiday meals

Thousands of Tampa Bay families struggle each day just to put food on the table. During the holiday season, those families are torn between making sure Santa stops by and making sure their family has something to eat.

But Feeding Tampa Bay, the area's largest food rescue and distribution organization, is making sure families don't have to choose between gifts and groceries.

On Saturday, Feeding Tampa Bay volunteers gave out Christmas dinners to more than 3,000 families. Turkeys, hams, potatoes, veggies: Everything needed for a Christmas feast. Feeding Tampa Bay says a surprising number of people in our region go hungry on a daily basis.

“Even though the economy has gotten better we still have 1 in 4 children and 1 in 7 adults who are food-insecure on a daily basis. That seems staggering and we tend to think it's not true but we know it is. And we see many families whose budgets are stretched tighter and tighter and food is the compromise many of them have to make,” said executive director Thomas Mantz.

Feeding Tampa Bay is able to ensure hundreds of thousands of hungry people in the Bay area have a meal to eat by recovering surplus food donations from local farmers, grocery stores and manufacturers.