TAMPA, Fla. - Less than a week before Thanksgiving, volunteers in Tampa are working fast to ensure those families who need a meal, don’t have to worry.
Metropolitan Ministries paired up with University Area Community Development Corporation, or “CDC” to distribute free Thanksgiving meals to area residents.
“We’ve actually served over 3,500 residents this week alone, and this event today, will serve 1800 residents. So we’re seeing great need out there.”
Metropolitan Ministries says the need has nearly doubled, and more than 40 percent of people who signed up this year, have never asked for help before.
“We have already spent $600,000 in food purchases,” said CEO Tim Marks. “All of last year for the holidays we spent about $250,000. So, anytime a donation comes in, it really does help out.”
It helps families like Delmarie Walker’s, who waited in line for more than an hour to get her box this morning.
“It’s been hard for all of us,” Walker said. “A lot of us never thought we’d be in a situation like this, so it’s been humbling and we’re thankful that they’re trying to help.”
Friday afternoon, a tractor-trailer of donations came to the holiday tent.
“We didn’t know they were coming,” said Marks. “We didn’t know what they were going to be bringing, but one group filled up a U-Haul with turkeys and went all around town.”
For families like Walker’s, it’s the difference between a holiday meal and an empty table.
“My sister won’t be able to get some, so we’ll be able to give some to her and her family. So it helps. Because not everyone has the same opportunity.”
Metropolitan Ministries plans to give out 20,000 Thanksgiving food boxes and 6,000 meals this upcoming holiday week.
The items they need the most are mashed potatoes, green beans, yams and stuffing.
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