HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. — Several Hillsborough County schools will now house on-site food pantries. Feeding Tampa Bay spearheaded the effort and partnered with Publix, which donated $45,000.
The first "Feeding Minds" pantry opened at Ruskin Elementary. 91 percent of students there deal with food insecurity, meaning their families don't have reliable access to meals. District-wide, that number is a bit lower at 63 percent. A study done by Feeding Tampa Bay and the University of South Florida helped decide which eight schools needed this resource the most.
The schools will allow students and their families to shop at the pantry twice a week. Although school leaders feel they have a good grasp on who needs the assistance, they've said they won't turn families away.
Wednesday at 8 a.m., representatives from Feeding Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County Public Schools and Publix Super Market Charities will cut the ribbon for the 2nd on-site pantry at B.T. Washington Elementary in Tampa.