TAMPA, Fla. - Volunteers with Metropolitan Ministries spent Thursday morning cooking and serving those who live on the margins of society.
“It’s a lot of stress,” offered Chef Luis, who has been doing it for nearly a decade. “But at the end of the day, you’re helping someone else, and it fills your heart because you’re helping somebody.”
WWE superstar Titus O’Neil once was that somebody.
“I was one of those families – came from one of those families that didn’t have a Thanksgiving meal unless somebody helped provide that meal,” he offered.
O’Neil has been volunteering every Thanksgiving for years. This year, he says, the need has never been greater.
“You know, there were people before COVID who were in dire need before. And COVID just elevated that need.”
For the last several Thanksgivings, Metropolitan Ministries has served about 6,000 hot meals. This year, it’s thousands more.
“It’s 9,000 freshly prepared and boxed meals that are going out to the community. So a significant increase and need for those who don’t even have a kitchen to prepare a meal,” explained CEO Tim Marks.
They can fulfill that increase, Marks says, because of the community’s generosity.
“Since COVID started, this community has given and given and given, and we’re so thankful for that.”
Marks says they had to decrease their amount of volunteers inside of the kitchen this morning because of the pandemic. They also ensured everyone was temperature checked before working.