By Libby Hopkins

There is an old adage that says, “The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”  That’s how Buddy Bass of Manna on Wheels in Dover felt back in 2005. He wanted to do more than just be an insurance man; he wanted to make a difference in lives on the needy in the Brandon area. “My wife told me I would never be happy until I was doing what God had called me to do which was to be in a full-time ministry,” Bass said. In April of 2006, Bass and his wife, Jane, started Manna on Wheels, which is a mobile kitchen ministry that provides food to the needy population of Brandon and the surrounding areas. Their vision is to rescue the lost through a heart-changing experience with God, thus giving them hope and peace.

When they first started the outreach, they were feeding the homeless in the parking lot of the Church of the Nazarene in Brandon. They held weekly Bible studies with their clients and several of them found jobs and got off the streets. “So far we estimate we have impacted over 69,600 needy people with over 310 food deliveries, but the best part we have seen is that lives are being changed and people are coming to know the Lord, Jesus Christ,” Bass said, “That is what Manna on Wheels is all about.”

The outreach has recently started working with Kids Pack, which is a non-profit organization that feeds school aged children. “We pack food to go into the backpacks of children that the school identifies as not having enough food for the weekend,” Bass said. Manna on Wheels is helping with various outreaches in the community during the Christmas holidays and they will be at Every Day Blessings Children’s Home in Thonotosassa on Christmas morning.  They will be feeding the residents and staff of the home.

“My hope for Manna on Wheels is to always in God’s will, seek the kingdom of God and everything else will follow,” Bass said. For more information about Manna on Wheels or if you would like to make a donation to the ministry, you can visit them on the web at If you would like to learn more about the Kids Pack program, you can visit their website at


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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.