FishHawk resident Rebecca Long was recognized by the Restaurants in Greater Brandon & Tampa Area Offering Delivery & Take Out Facebook page on Mother’s Day.

Local realtor Brenda Wade had an idea last month that brightened the lives of thousands of quarantined residents while helping restaurants through some hard times.

Wade set up the private Facebook group ‘Restaurants in Greater Brandon & Tampa Area Offering Delivery & Take Out’ and within days it had thousands of followers and hundreds of posts a week offering support to local restaurants.

“I eat out frequently and was still grabbing takeout and noticed how terribly slow the restaurants were,” said Wade. “I just wanted to help. I had a friend in Canada that had started a group and I felt we should try it here.”

Wade started spreading the word about the group through her family and real estate contacts and it quickly gained momentum.

“This community is close-knit and will rally for what they believe in,” she said. “We all want our neighbors and friends to survive this black swan.”

In addition to posts from residents and restaurant owners about favorite dishes and deals, members also started posting giveaways and contests and rallying donations to provide food to essential workers and recognition of single parents on Mother’s Day.

But the best thing for Wade about the group is how it has brought the community together.

“I have been so impressed by how positive everyone has been and how they have rallied when they saw a need,” she said. “I feel we have added value to some folks that needed us.”

Despite the fact that restaurants are now starting to open with quarantine restrictions lifting, Wade feels there is still a role for the group.

“I see us continuing to support them and using it to promote the independent food providers,” she explained. “We have lots of hidden gems in our community. There are ones I didn’t know about and I think it’s important to support local.”

Search for ‘Restaurants in Greater Brandon & Tampa Area Offering Delivery & Take Out’ on Facebook to learn more.