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Safety Harbor community cafe pivots during pandemic | The Rebound Tampa Bay

Young volunteers stepping up to help
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Posted at 8:09 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 01:55:17-04

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — Preston Mitchell is just a few days over 18 but his passion for volunteering started when he was just 13.

He saw a sign in a nearby coffee shop to help volunteer at Harbor Dish in Safety Harbor, a nonprofit community cafe.

"I said, 'Hey can I help out?' and it really took off from there," says Mitchell.

For years, Harbor Dish set out to feed people in need but not like a soup kitchen. Using a donated space, volunteers like Preston cook and prepare meals for people who pay what they can or pay it forward.

But when COVID-19 came to town, Harbor Dish had to pivot.

Cameron Zamanian is just 23 and has stepped up to help as well.

"We understood that a lot of people were suffering in recent months whether they lost their jobs, struggling to make ends meet or just home bound and can’t even go to the grocery market so we made it our mission to help these people," says Zamanian.

Mitchell agrees, "Since then, we have turned more into a delivery service. We go to them because they can’t get out or they’re elderly or they’re veterans. People really in need who lost their jobs. Everyone’s so thankful."

The one thing the group says they need more of is volunteers. To help out, you can get more information on the Harbor Dish Facebook page.