PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — A Pinellas County woman distributes unused food from restaurants to people in need.
Heather Brooke and other volunteers delivered food to senior citizens on Tuesdays.
Brooke collects unused food from restaurants and grocery stores and then distributes it to people who need it.
"This food was perfectly good and it could go out to some of those families that had reduced income or families who have kids at home," said Brooke.
Barbara Stacy is retired and received food. She is on a fixed income.
She said she had to quit her job as an Uber driver because she has underlying health issues and is at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.
Stacy picked up eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit.
"I live off $850 a month and you know for someone like me this is a real blessing, I mean big blessing," she said.
Brooke has more than 650 pickups a month primarily in Pinellas County.
She gives out large volumes of meats, eggs, dairy, fruit and vegetables. She delivers the food to families, the homeless, the elderly and those living at extended-stay hotels.
"Right about the time the pandemic started, we just happened upon somebody taking out some trash for a local restaurant and realized it wasn't actually garbage, it was actually their unsold food for the day and so we just decided to go in and ask how we could get that. We went from there," said Brooke.
Brooke collects food using her own car and her garage at home. She started an online fundraising campaign to raise money for a permanent place.
"We are really looking for a space right now that we can call home, bring stuff back to sort it and have volunteers come in and take it to the places where it can get to the hands of people who can use it," said Brooke.
Brooke hopes to start a nonprofit organization and continue to feed those in need.
"If it wasn't for this. I'd probably be eating a lot of Ramen noodles," said Stacy. "I want to thank everybody involved and these people do work tirelessly. They come here and it has been a big help."
For more information on the fundraising campaign, click here.