TAMPA, Fla. - When most people think of a convoy, it’s delivery trucks or military; but right now, it’s food trucks.
Dru Rabin partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay and the Radius Church to create ‘The Food Convoy’. It is a group of nine traveling kitchens that split up Monday-Friday to deliver meals to neighbors in need.
On any given weekday, they will have three trucks deliver 500-600 meals.
Rabin is the owner and operator of the PB & Jelly Deli. He goes out into the community year-round to help but says this service is needed especially now.
“We are going to take meals into neighborhoods where they need them most,” Rabin explained. “So these are neighborhoods where people are transportation disadvantaged. They have children that would normally receive school meals but they have difficulty getting to school site locations to pick those meals up.”
For many, this program not only helps the neighbors, but also the businesses participating.
Cristina Gustilo owns and operates the FlipN’ Tasty traveling kitchen. She said, “Business has been slow, this keeps the truck going. They are so grateful, just seeing their smiling faces, just brings joy.”
For the neighbors receiving the meals, these trucks are the best thing they’ve seen in a while.
Johna Howard is on disability and struggling. By the time she pays her bills, she’s broke, but she still needs to take care of her son.
“For somebody helping you, giving you food, that’s a big help,” Howard said. “Right now due to this Coronavirus, it’s hard. It’s very hard. Some of the parents are out of work and the kids can’t focus on school.”
Rabin hopes this convoy can inspire others to reach out to the community as well.
“Anyone out there can do this right now,” he said. “Everyone out there can go into their figurative refrigerator and they can look at who they know and what they know and what they can do. And where it’s safe and when it’s safe, they can try and make a difference just like this.”
Howard is very grateful the convoy made it to her neighborhood. “The PB & Jelly Deli truck really helped us today and I appreciate that. That was a blessing”
The Food Convoy lists their daily locations on their Facebook page by noon Monday through Friday. Visit https://www.facebook.com/mealstoneighbors/ to check the locations.
Map of known COVID-19 cases:
MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map