Jesuit students package thousands of meals at Metro Ministries

Students at Jesuit High School woke up way before dawn to prepare thousands of meals to give back to the community.

Before heading to class Thursday, dozens of students at Jesuit High School were up before 3 a.m., reporting to Metropolitan Ministries to assemble and package more than 7,000 meals for pickup during the Kiwanis Club of Tampa's biggest fundraiser of the year. 

Cooking began at 2 a.m. in an effort to complete 2,000 meals per hour throughout the morning. The students, all members of the service organization Key Club, will receive credit for their volunteer hours.

This year, the annual Chicken Barbecue event is in partnership with Metropolitan Ministries and its social enterprise, Inside the Box Catering, which will receive more than $45,000 for preparing and cooking the meals. 

In an announcement from the nonprofit, Metropolitan Ministries, organizers said tthe funds will support its job training and hunger programs, with as many as one thousand chicken dinners getting donated back to the organization. All other proceeds and direct donations will go directly to the Tampa Kiwanis Foundation. 
 
Supporters have signed up to make a donation or have pre-purchased dinners. Additionally, the nonprofit said many businesses purchase barbecue meals for their employees. 

LINK: To purchase BBQ tickets, head to the Kiwanis Club website.

Each meal is $12. Pick-up is available at 601 West Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Downtown Pedestrian Pickup is at One Mack - Cali Building located at 501 East Kennedy Boulevard, at the corner of Morgan Street between the hours of 11:15 a.m and 1:30 p.m.