Fueling a movement: A hunger-free Tampa Bay by 2025

How many of your recent business deals, interviews or team meetings have been conducted over a meal? Or, what would family and friend celebrations look like if food was not part of the equation? For many in our community, food is not a given. The physical, mental and emotional ramifications they experience due to hunger hold them back from imagining their full potential.

Our collective potential as a community will be realized through increased health and capability. Considering food as an investment, the return is a culture in which our residents have what they need to thrive, our employees achieve maximum productivity and our children aspire to learn and can continue the legacy we leave behind.

Through accessible, nourishing food and resources that foster long-term stability, Feeding Tampa Bay has drawn a line in the sand – the creation of a movement – that will end hunger in our region in the next five years. In working to ensure all our neighbors have access to a healthy meal, we’re activating new and expanded programs to end hunger in the Tampa Bay region by 2025. And you can help!

Food for Today

As consumers, we all access food differently now and as an organization we want to serve those in need where they need it. We’ve launched mobile grocery stores and food distributions at bus stations and we’re pioneering food pantries in schools and medical facilities. All of this will bolster the health of the families we serve. Simply put, a healthy meal leads to a healthy life. And for a person who has their health – the possibilities are endless.

Food for Tomorrow

With efforts that instill health, our united outcome is capability. The moment in which we meet those in need of a meal is an opportunity to maximize the impact on their lives by introducing them to additional resources and partnerships that could close the economic gap in their homes.

The evidence of resource connection was powerful during the government shutdown earlier this year. When TSA employees found themselves in a difficult situation, we, along with our partners, rallied together to provide robust support.

Food for a Lifetime

We would all agree that with a good job comes economic capability and employment is foundational to a lifetime of success. Ultimately, if we can fundamentally change the circumstances of someone who comes into our world – to the point where they no longer need our services – we’ve truly reached success.

Our FRESHforce program is designed for this reason. Through this program we train and develop skills for individuals with barriers to employment. From culinary school to logistics training to a truck-driving program, we’ve developed three unique job tracks that will enable long-term income capability.

We endeavor to move people beyond the vicious cycle of hunger, educating them and offering skills they need to unlock their path to self-sufficiency.

Cultivate Your Role

The transformation of our community into a Hunger-Free Tampa Bay requires the energy and support of our entire region. Whether it’s supporting our programs and events, partnering with us or donating, we invite you to cultivate your role in building a hungerfree Tampa Bay. Join the movement at HungerFree2025.com.

Thomas Mantz joined Feeding Tampa Bay in October of 2012. With his leadership, the organization has seen significant development across all business fronts. Most important, meals to the community have grown to more than 50 million per year – helping end hunger in Tampa Bay. Mantz has also helped the organization launch several key initiatives and programs, including the Hunger Action Alliance research partnership with USF and FRESHforce, a proprietary job-training program. During Mantz’s tenure, Feeding Tampa Bay was named “nonprofit of the year” by WEDU and has been a Tampa Bay Business Journal finalist for nonprofit of the year.

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