TAMPA, Fla. - Every week, Feeding Tampa Bay donates fresh food and produce to hundreds of families in need across the community. This week, those families got an extra special surprise
"It’s a special Saturday today because we’ve partnered with the NFL and the Buccaneers to not only give the normal produce and grocery items that we would give to a family, but they’re going to get some really cool swag," said Thomas Mantz, the CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay.
Those NFL swag bags were handed out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
"The people who are coming do not know that anything is different. They were expecting to pick up a meal, and they ended up getting some cheerleader and Captain Fear interaction, and they got NFL swag bags," explained Melissa Schiller, the director of communication with the NFL.
However, the cool swag bags pale in comparison to the lasting difference the NFL is making in the Bay Area through their partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay.
"It’s really a launch of a 44-week program, we are funding meals for the next 44 weeks through a $250,000 donation," said Schiller.
That $250,000 donation will go a long way.
"We’re partnering with our restaurant community to help keep folks in jobs, but also to take those meals that the restaurants will create and bring them to the families who need it," said Mantz.
The NFL is focused on giving back and creating lasting change in their Super Bowl host cities. This year, it’s more important than ever before.
"What the NFL and the Bucs also allow us to do is tell the story of our community, folks who are struggling," explained Mantz.
"We are so appreciative of their partnership of our work because it helps us remind everybody we still have neighbors, friends, colleagues who are struggling economically."
On Saturday, the smiles of excitement were evident. Families will now have fully prepared meals waiting for them every week, long after the big game wraps up.
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