TAMPA, Fla. - For families that are struggling to put food on the table and are homebound, help is on the way this holiday season. Two Bay Area organizations have come together to provide and deliver food to these hard-to-reach families.
Asianna Lotito has been volunteering for Meals On Wheels 4 Kids for two years. Twice a week, she delivers food to homebound families.
"I do it because it's something I'm really passionate about. I love helping people. I love working with children. So this is a way that I can give back to the community," she explained. "It's been incredibly rewarding for me. I absolutely love doing it. I met a ton of great people."
Although Asianna enjoys it, there is a huge shortage of volunteers.
"Last year, we served almost 5,000 kids and their families, and this year we're looking to serve almost 7,000. Our greatest need right now is volunteers," she said.
They need them for the Meals On Wheels 4 Kids Holidays On Wheels program.
"Our program is run by 150 volunteers every week, and last year specifically for the holiday program," said Caitlin Peacock, executive director of Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger. "We utilized almost 350 volunteers."
The program is a partnership between Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger and Metropolitan Ministries. Its mission is to provide holiday meals to families in need.
"For the second year in a row, we're very thankful to be partnering with Metropolitan Ministries to help provide those that are homebound and don't have transportation, receive meal ingredients for the holidays to ensure that everybody has a holiday meal," explained Peacock.
Jimari Hallam and her sons, Isaac and Elijah, are thankful for the service.
"I'm sick, he's sick. This way we don't have to leave the house they just deliver it right here," Hallam said.
It's a service that Asianna is glad to provide.
"I would encourage anybody to volunteer just if they want to, you know, feel good and make others feel good. It really is just something that is truly rewarding," she said.
The last day to sign up for the service is November 3. If you would like to become a volunteer, visit www.NetworktoEndHunger.org.