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Volunteers donate, deliver thousands of Thanksgiving meals to homebound families

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Posted at 4:17 PM, Nov 16, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — This week, Thanksgiving Day meals were delivered to 2,000 families across Tampa Bay. All of these families are homebound due to disability or a lack of transportation.

The deliveries are possible thanks to volunteers like Marla Adams and Sandi Pollpeter.

“There are less fortunate people that really need help during the holidays,” said Adams.

Marla and Sandi had already made nine deliveries before lunchtime on Monday. Every one of these families receives a turkey and a box filled with all the sides and fixings.

“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in yourself and what’s going on in your life, it’s just so nice to take a moment and think about somebody else,” said Pollpeter.

This is the second annual Meals on Wheels for Kids Holidays on Wheels Program. It’s a collaboration between Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger and Metropolitan Ministries.

“This is incredibly important, I mean it’s the holiday season and this is a Thanksgiving meal that they are getting now so that they are able to enjoy the holidays with their families despite any other challenges they might be dealing with and we are bringing their meal directly to their doorstep,” said Toni Thomas with Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger.

“We’re seeing a lot of different families that have different hardships and we’re kind of getting a little taste of that when we deliver the meals,” said Adams.

Sherise Richardson, of Riverview, was one of the people on Marla and Sandi’s route.

“We had fallen on hard times, my spouse was out of work for three months from surgery and then I had to have surgery when they went back to work,” said Richardson. “It means that our family will be able to eat for Thanksgiving and we are so grateful for that.”

Marla and Sandi said no drive is too far, and no traffic is too heavy when it comes to filling hearts and tummies on Thanksgiving.

“It’s humbling and it's heartwarming to know that you are making a difference in somebody’s life,” said Pollpeter.