NewsSarasota, Manatee County


'Mega Food Distribution' site helping to feed Manatee County families weekly

Posted at 8:16 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 23:09:49-04

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Feeding Tampa Bay is having a "Mega Food Distribution" site in Bradenton to make sure Manatee County families don't go hungry.

For many, buying groceries can be tough right now, and local food pantries can hardly keep up with the demand.

"Manatee County has about 45,000 folks who are food insecure. Just since the COVID pandemic started 10 weeks ago, we’ve seen that number go up to 62,000," said Thomas Mantz, Feeding Tampa Bay CEO.

That’s why Feeding Tampa Bay is partnering with Suncoast United Way. They are holding a "Mega Food Distribution" in Bradenton every Tuesday at State College of Florida from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

"The goal is for a person to take about $75 in retail home, so that hopefully satisfies some of their budget," said Mantz.

Hundreds of families waited their turn for fresh produce, milk and canned goods. Enough food to feed a family for three to five days

"I’m grateful. Very, very grateful. This feeds my family," said Wayna Hardin who was picking up food for her family.

Anyone in need can come to the drive-up distribution on Tuesdays in the parking lot of State College of Florida, 5840 26th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

"People are in that line because they are challenged. Our job is to be there for them. Hand them good, fresh and healthy food. And let them know that we’re going to be there for them and that everybody is welcome," said Mantz.

For more information on food distribution locations or to learn how to volunteer visit: