Buddy and Jane Bass started Manna on Wheels (MOW) in 2006 in order to feed the hungry and spread the word of God’s love. MOW is actively seeking businesses willing to host a food drive as well as volunteers to assist with its feeding ministry.

The past few years have been very challenging for many people in the community. Between illnesses, the economy and other of life’s many roadblocks, many people find themselves in need for the first time. Among those affected are ministries and nonprofits. The exact people that are trying to help the people in need, often find themselves in need as well.

Local, longtime feeding outreach ministry Manna on Wheels (MOW) is no exception. In 2006, Buddy Bass and his wife, Jane, started Manna on Wheels, a mobile kitchen ministry that provides a hot meal to families, children and people in need in Dover and the surrounding areas.

“We were not able to have our annual outreaches and also lost most of our volunteers,” said Buddy. “We had totally renovated our kitchen on wheels and were gearing up to start back feeding the homeless and those in need like we did when we first started Manna back in 2006.”

Unfortunately, Buddy suffered a back injury in October 2021, which required extensive surgery. He spent 12 days in the hospital and continues with physical therapy. Because of this, he cannot lift anything heavier than 10 lbs., which is sometimes difficult while still running MOW. Jane, along with the board of directors and a few volunteers, have kept MOW running smoothly during this time.

“We’ve picked up two more ministries we help weekly: Bread of Refuge, which feeds the homeless in Brandon twice daily and provides food boxes daily to those in need and, most importantly, shares the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Bass. “The second ministry is Victor Newman Ministries, who also feeds, provides needs, educates and shares the gospel.”

In 2021, MOW received 125,598 lbs. of perishable and nonperishable food and distributed 97,437 lbs. of perishable and nonperishable food to 20 ministries. These are remarkable statistics despite the fact that MOW was unable to host its annual food drives.

“Because of COVID-19 we were not able to have our annual food drives or outreaches last year,” said Buddy. “So, this year, our prayer is to feed in smaller groups of people by feeding those that are hungry and as always share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

MOW is looking for local businesses or organizations that would be willing to organize a food drive to keep the shelves of MOW stocked.

“We give out food all year to those in need not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Buddy. “Any gift would be greatly appreciated. We are a 501(c)(3) ministry, and all donations are tax deductible.”

If you are interested in becoming a monthly supporter of Manna on Wheels, interested in helping organize a food drive or if you are a student in need of volunteer or community service hours, MOW is an available resource. For more information, visit www.mannaonwheels.org or reach Buddy Bass at 767-5708 or jbass@mannaonwheels.org.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.