Community20 Days for Tampa Bay


Bradenton academic tells story of needing a food pantry to help others struggling during pandemic

70% of current food pantry clients are brand new
Posted at 4:10 AM, Jun 25, 2020

BRADENTON, Fla. — Terri Champion is both an academic and an author.

She also became a recent client at a food pantry after consecutive job opportunities fell through.

“I thought, ‘What the heck am I doing here? This can’t be for real,’” says Champion.

On this day the Bradenton woman is reconnecting with friend Vanessa Rodriguez, a storyteller for Feeding Tampa Bay.

“The reason we storytell as much as we do, and it’s essential, is to share with the community that anyone and everyone can be food insecure at any one time,” says Rodriguez.

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Terri was recently featured in a beautifully honest short film about the highs and lows of her life — and about how the face of hunger looks a lot like all of our faces.

“I remember standing there, tears running down my face, because I felt so ashamed,” says Champion.

Seventy percent of current food pantry clients are brand new with many seeking help due to the current spike in unemployment.

Terri wants to tell her story so others will have the courage to ask for help. She now knows there is nothing to be ashamed of.

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