TAMPA, Fla. -- Frozen turkeys and non-perishable food items aren’t the only things the non-profit Metropolitan Ministries needs this holiday season.
The local nonprofit organization desperately needs volunteers who can speak English and Spanish.
The food bank is expected to feed 30,000 families in the Tampa Bay area.
“That is 37 percent more families than last year,” Digital Marketing Specialist Jose Lora said.
Lora said they are seeing more and more Spanish speakers waiting in line for food. Lora doesn’t know why there are more this year than last but knows Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria continue to move to Florida for a better life.
“The need is so high that we are needing more bilingual volunteers that we don’t have. We need a total of 800 volunteers to fill the need that is in Tampa right now,” Lora said.
Once a family is registered, they go through the food bank with their own personal shopper.
Facing a language barrier, many families can get frustrated with the process.
“I work in this tent for probably five or six years,” Lisett Hubbell told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska.
Hubbell is from Peru and puts her dual-language skills to work daily.
“They feel more comfortable that someone speaks the same language they are more comfortable, especially older people,” Hubbell said. “I love to help people and I love that with my bilingual skills, I can help others that is really a blessing for me.”
Volunteers are needed from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. For more information on how you can help, click here.