Local Businesses Partner With ECHO To End Childhood Hunger

By Kathy L. Collins

Hunger is a very real problem. In Hillsborough County hunger affects one in six people. For children, the statistics are worse with nearly 20 percent more children than adults facing issues related to hunger every day.

For these reasons, six area Beef O’Brady’s and USAmeri Bank have teamed up with ECHO of Brandon (Emergency Care Help Organization) to pilot a point of sale program to end childhood hunger. In this campaign, customers will be asked to donate $1 or $5 at the time that they receive their check at Beef O’ Brady’s or when they conclude their transaction at USAmeri Bank.

The End Childhood Hunger in Brandon campaign will run from Saturday, February 2 to Sunday, February 17. Residents can visit six area Beef O’Brady’s (the Original Beef’s on Kings Ave. in Brandon, the FishHawk Blvd. Beef’s in Lithia, the Beef’s on Bell Shoals in Valrico, the Beef’s on Adamo, the Beef’s on Miller Rd. in Valrico, and the Beef’s in Parsons Village in Seffner) and USAmeri Bank located at 668 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon and make a donation of $1 or $5.

Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO said, “Childhood hunger has many repercussions including poor development and inability to concentrate in school. For as little as $1 we can feed a child for a day.”

J.J. Massaro and Cormack McCarthy, co-owners of several area Beef O’Brady’s and Cami Gibertini, Senior Vice President with USAmeri Bank, former Honorary Mayor and member of the ECHO Board of Directors, are working with ECHO to implement this program.

Massaro said, “I have personally been looking for a way to get involved in the community. After I heard Stacey Efaw speak about ECHO at my Rotary meeting, I decided to get involved in this pilot program.”

ECHO has been serving the greater Brandon area for 25 years. Each year, ECHO provides over 10,000 area residents, half of whom are children, with food and clothing assistance.

For more information on ECHO and The End Childhood Hunger in Brandon campaign, please visit www.echofl.org or call 685-0935.