MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Feeding Tampa Bay is currently operating five mega pantries and is in the process of testing a sixth throughout the Tampa Bay area.
One of those already in operation is located in Manatee County. Over the course of three hours, Feeding Tampa Bay will fill the back seats and trunks of over 1,500 cars with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and snacks.
Without these meals, many of these families say they aren’t sure how they’d get by.
Like many waiting in line, Sabrina Yawn never thought she’d be in this position, then she found herself furloughed from her job.
“Its been since March and then getting on unemployment has been a nightmare,” said Yawn.
A few cars back in line, Kimberly Maccario’s family waited patiently for their turn.
“This has been a really big blessing for us, for the whole family,” said Maccario.
She is bringing back food for four children and a husband who has been out of work because of the pandemic.
“Very hard, very hard,” said Maccario.
Many of these families said they appreciate the mega pantry for its dedication to safety. They say it's better than going to a grocery store.
“I am very worried because I do home health and I have to be very careful taking things back home to the client,” said Elma Elliott.
These pantries are equipped to serve over 3,500 families at a time with 175,000 pounds of food.
“I see all these people coming here because we all need a little help. We are not alone and hopefully it gets better soon,” said Maccario.
For more information on Feeding Tampa Bay and a mega pantry near you, click here.