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Mobile food distribution site near St. Pete Beach closes after helping restaurant workers

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Posted at 9:40 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 23:27:00-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Feeding Tampa Bay has closed its mobile food pantry site near St. Pete Beach.

The mobile food distribution site helped restaurant workers and people in the hospitality industry.

Thursday marked the final day people could drive up in their cars and get food at that site.

"Just because this pantry is closing does not mean other ones are... we have one a mile down the road that will still continue its weekly distribution," said Nicole Oswald, with Feeding Tampa Bay.

The food pantry opened in March next to St. Pete Beach City Hall. It served about 350 people each Thursday.

Feeding Tampa Bay said it saw demand decline when beaches and restaurants reopened.

"It's very unique here at the beaches. They're opening up, but throughout our 10 county area, we were serving 600,000 people normally before COVID-19 and now it increased to 1.3 million we are now serving," said Oswald.

Tiffany Kastracovic works for "Free Beach Ride." It's a shuttle program that brings people back and forth near the beach.

She drives people to get food at the pantry.

"I know a lot of people that have gone without, they have lost their jobs, moms and dads both lost their jobs and again food like this is very important," she said. "We do have a lot of calls and we pick up people and run them through and get food and most people tell me it feeds them and their family."

For more information on available food pantry sites, click here.