Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger (TBNEH), a tri-county leader in hunger relief, research and program development, will expand Meals On Wheels for Kids (MOW4Kids) into Clearwater in Pinellas County. The program will begin delivering frozen prepared meals, fresh produce and shelf stable food to children and families who have opted to attend school remotely in Clearwater on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.
The Network’s innovative MOW4Kids program, the first program of its kind, launched this past March. MOW4Kids, was developed in response to COVID-19 school closures, to serve children, 18 years or younger, with meals delivered to their home by volunteers. MOW4Kids is an alternative option for kids that are not able to access meal distribution sites throughout the county; and/or 2) kids that have difficulty accessing open food pantries. The program currently serves St. Petersburg and Lealman in South Pinellas County, Wimauma in South Hillsborough County, Dade City in East Pasco County and will continue to expand the program, to include Clearwater in Pinellas County.
RCS Food Bank, a local non-profit organization that addresses the needs of the hungry, homeless and victims of domestic violence in Pinellas County, will be the designated packing and distribution site for the program in this service area. Shelf stable boxes of food will be packed by volunteers on Tuesdays and then delivered by volunteers with level 2 background checks on Wednesdays. On the morning of delivery, Pinellas County School’s buses are loaded with meal packs and boxes of shelf stable food for volunteers to then ride along and deliver to children and families residing in Clearwater.
At the core of this Meals on Wheels program is nutritious food delivered to the homes of children and their families. The program provides meals, shelf stable groceries, including produce, as resources allow. Children may experience an increase in overall nutrition, food security, and feelings of social connectedness from volunteers stopping by.
Volunteer drivers are needed each week to help pack boxes of shelf stable food on Tuesdays and to deliver on Wednesdays from RCS Food Bank in Clearwater. Routes take 60 minutes to complete. To sign up to volunteer, please visit www.networktoendhugner.org/volunteer.
The Network is currently accepting donations at www.networktoendhunger.org to help support the MOW4Kids program. A donation of just $20 will provide a week of meals delivered to children in need.
To find out how you can get involved, visit https://networktoendhunger.org/mow4kids/ or call (813) 344-5837.
About Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger
Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger is committed to ending hunger in Tampa Bay by bringing people together to find solutions that eliminate barriers, increase access and knowledge, and expand the amount of nutritious food available. TBNEH has over 350 members and serves a tri-county area, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. TBNEH is a 501(c)3 non-profit agency and relies on its community for support. www.NetworktoEndHunger.org
About RCS Pinellas
RCS Pinellas (RCS), established in 1967, is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that addresses the needs of the hungry, homeless and victims of domestic violence in Pinellas County. This mission is advanced through five distinct but integrated programs: RCS Food Bank, RCS Basic Services, RCS Affordable Housing, The Haven at RCS Domestic Violence Shelter and RCS Grace House. These programs operate in more than 60,000 square feet of service space and serve more than 130,000 participants annually throughout Pinellas County. In 2019 RCS was awarded GuideStar’s Gold Seal of Transparency for the second year in a row and the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce Biggest Community Impact award. For more information, visit www.rcspinellas.org or call 727-584-3528.