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.