HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Tanya Reed is known at Metropolitan Ministries at Miss Tee.
She’s been volunteering there so long that she is now a staff member.
But she’s never seen the shelves so bare.
“I’m praying that Tampa Bay will come through for us. I know it’s a hard time for everyone,” said Reed.
Metropolitan Ministries said they understand times are tough.
Inflation has led many to cut back on donations.
They also had setbacks because of the election and a couple of hurricanes.
“We just see less food inside the tent here. When you look at previous years, we keep a pretty close inventory, not only on the food coming in and the toys coming in, and the monetary donations all just seem to be a little bit behind versus the last couple of years. And that’s a strong indicator that we are up for a challenge,” said Justine Burke, Metropolitan Ministries vice president of marketing.
The drive-through drop-offs are now open.
Metropolitan Ministries hopes to help about 37,000 families during the holidays.
“Giving someone a Thanksgiving and a Christmas doesn’t necessarily solve all of their challenges. But for us, we’ve seen time again that’s the first step to a deeper conversation. Because if they are coming for holiday help, they probably need help with a lot of things,” said Burke.
Those in need can register online to get their holiday food supplies.
And donation drops are open in several spots for those who want to give and help fill up these empty shelves.
“The smallest thing you can do. Just give a little bit. Just share what you have,” said Reed.
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