Feed the Bay annual food drive close to 1 million pounds of donated food

BRANDON - Joni Damico helps run the Emergency Help Care Organization in Brandon.  The food bank helped feed 15 families Monday.

"Some are homeless and that's all they have is to come in once in a while to get a bag of food. We got to help the kids and the families eat," said Joni.

The food stocking their pantry today came from this weekend's 7th annual FEED THE BAY food drive. They collected at bay area Publix and Sweetbay supermarkets all day Saturday and Sunday.  At the Emergency Help Care Organization, they received over 17,000 pounds of food.

Feed The Bay started six years ago when the pastor at Bay Life Church took Sunday services to the community.  The effort has since grown into an annual food drive with almost 40 churches participating.

After this year's drive, they hope to reach over a million total pounds of food donated.  That is 500 tons.

Cindy Perkins coordinates the Feed The Bay event, and says the million-pound milestone is great, but its really about helping those in her community that need it.

"There is so much need, and so many people that are without hope, and this gives them hope.  It gives us opportunity to care for and love people that society has said, 'maybe not,'" said Cindy.

Next year, Cindy hopes to expand Feed The Bay into South Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Pinellas County.

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