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BayCare and Feeding Tampa Bay team up to fill trunks with food in Polk County

Feeding Tampa Bay warehouse.
Posted at 3:09 PM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 09:46:23-04

WINTER HAVEN — One in four families in Tampa Bay struggle putting food on the table. On Saturday BayCare Health System was trying to change that.

Cars were lined up all morning long in the BayCare Health parking lot in Winter Haven, as BayCare in collaboration with Feeding Tampa Bay, handed out 500 boxes of food.

One after another, Polk County residents pulled up, popped their trunks, and allowed volunteers to load in much-needed groceries.

“Make sure that these families have the necessities they need to take care of themselves and their children,” said Ken Taylor, with BayCare Health System.

BayCare said they aren’t feeding the homeless, they’re feeding families that could live right next door to you, who are struggling to put food on the table.

“There’s a lot of people who have lost their jobs, middle-income families that are having this need, so it’s everybody, it’s all across the system,” said Taylor.

BayCare said with kids going back to school it was perfect timing for an event like this to get them off on the right track.

“If they are hungry they aren’t going to think right and we want them to learn, we live in a country where no child should go hungry,” said Taylor.

This isn’t a one-time helping hand either, BayCare is also supporting 16 school food pantries throughout Tampa Bay.

“Its a big big help,” said one woman picking up boxes of food for her family.

BayCare was also hoping people may come for the food and stay for a Covid vaccine, which was also being offered right in the parking lot.

“My mom, she is kind of making me do it but at the same time I kind of want to do it myself because I feel like it’s safer,” said 14-year-old Sebastian Molina.

As an added bonus the first 100 kids to pull into the parking lot on Saturday also received a free bicycle helmet.