Martha Diaz has been serving the homeless and those in need of food in Valrico and other areas of the community weekly for almost two years. She operates a food pantry from her garage, giving away dozens of free grocery boxes every Wednesday. She prepares hundreds of snack bags to distribute to the homeless around the Tampa Bay area each Thursday and Saturday as well as cooks nearly 100 hot meals that she and volunteers pass out with the lunch bags.
She does all of this because she feels it’s what God as called upon her to do for those in need.
“I started this in January 2021 with Lainna Bracy by feeding a few homeless on the streets of Brandon and Valrico,” Diaz said. “It rapidly grew to the areas of Seffner, Riverview and Tampa.”
Diaz and Bracy used social media sites to answer requests for help from families asking for groceries.
“We would send groceries to these families using delivery services,” Diaz said. “Doing this, we discovered there was a huge need for food and that many families were struggling. We used those same social media sites to ask for food donations to help us feed the homeless. The community response and support was incredible and they asked us to start our own Facebook page, something we never thought of, so Feeding People in Need Tampa Bay was born. That was our first name.”
As the women got to know the people they were helping, it started to have an impact on them.
“One of the homeless I fed one day said, ‘Thank you for helping me and seeing me as a human.’ This really hit me,” Diaz said. “I realized then it was my mission to help because God knows them; God sees them because they are not forgotten.”
This also led to Diaz changing the name of her ministry to The Three B’s Ministry Inc.
“God has helped us in so many ways,” Diaz said. “We outgrew my kitchen, but God knew that, and He already had everything figured out. I received a message on social media and from there a partnership with Bloomingdale High School Culinary Program began. I provide the ingredients and they cook for me. What a blessing.”
Diaz is now looking for expand her ministry even more.
“We are looking for a donated space where we can store all of our dry goods,” Diaz said. “This space will also allow us to have a physical address so we can work with other nonprofits like Feeding Tampa Bay to get food donated. We purchase the food items that we cannot get donated, and this is becoming quite expensive for us.”
If you would like to learn more about The Three B’s Ministry, you can visit its Facebook group page at www.facebook.com/groups/455811985747587.