The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is hitting many people hard, including when it comes to putting food on the table. Hillsborough County residents have several sources that can offer help with this basic need:
Food Assistance For Seniors – Hillsborough County residents ages 60 and older can apply for food assistance through Hillsborough County Aging Services. There is no income requirement to participate in the federally-funded program. For more information on receiving meals and to apply, call 272-5250.
Feeding Tampa Bay: Mobile Food Pantry And More – Feeding Tampa Bay is offering drive-thru distribution of free, pre-packaged groceries to Hillsborough County residents in need. Distribution is on Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus on 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. in Tampa. Check the Feeding Tampa Bay website before the events, in case of changes, and to find similar events elsewhere. Feeding Tampa Bay also offers several other food assistance programs and information, including Breakspot Meal Sites for children, Senior Groceries, Trinity Café and more. For details, go to feedingtampabay.org or call 254-1190.
Tampa YMCA Veggie Van – The unique and colorful ‘Veggie Van’ is distributing free, pre-packaged bags of produce in several neighborhoods of Hillsborough County. Learn more on the Veggie Van’s Facebook page @tampaveggievan.
School Lunches – Hillsborough County Public Schools continues to distribute Grab-and-Go food bags to students at 147 sites every Wednesday. Families will be able to pick up a week’s worth of nutritious meals at a time. Go to sdhc.k12.fl.us or call 272-4000 for details.
Florida Food Assistance Program – The Florida Department of Children and Families provides food benefits, access to a healthy diet and education on food preparation and nutrition to low-income households through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Program requirements have been adjusted to assist additional residents who have recently lost their jobs or experienced a significant reduction in the number of hours they are able to work due to COVID-19. Apply online at myflorida.com/accessflorida/ or call 866-762-2237.
Stretch Your SNAP benefits – Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program that encourages recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to shop at local farmers markets, produce stands, community-supported agriculture and mobile markets. FAB provides double benefits for every SNAP dollar spent at an approved farmers market. There are two participating FAB locations in Hillsborough County: Temple Terrace Farmers Market and Sweetwater Organic Community Farm and Market in Tampa.
Visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe. Check the page often for updates.