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Gandy Civic Center a hub for community outreach during pandemic

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Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 01:30:09-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- A former eyesore in South Tampa now serves as a hub for community outreach.

Volunteers and community leaders have transformed the Gandy Civic Center, a once dilapidated building located at 4207 West Oklahoma Avenue, into a place where people in need can find clothes and a free meal.

"We know the need in the neighborhood," said Shawn Brown, vice president of the Gandy Civic Association. "What’s happening behind closed doors is a ton of people are being affected and for a lot of folks there is a sense of pride and a sense of loss."

Through a partnership with Metropolitan Ministries, people in need can pick up a box of dry groceries from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday.

Each box can feed between four and six people.

Alicia Rodriguez, a single mother of three, tells ABC Action News, the grocery giveaway is a big help for families who are struggling during the pandemic.

"It helps out a lot of people who, you know, don’t have," said Rodriguez."

Last month, the Gandy Civic Association teamed up with State Representative Jackie Toledo to hold a career fair for community members.

The series of events includes a professional clothing giveaway, career interview guidance and a career fair.

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