The shelves at the Food Bank of Manatee are nearly empty and dangerously close to being unable to service the more than 100 local agencies and food pantries which help feed as many as 60,000 people in our community each month.
To help restock the shelves at the Food Bank of Manatee, School District and Manatee County Government leaders are calling all sorts of local organizations to participate in a “Food Challenge” in which schools, churches, hospitals, civic groups and others set a goal of collecting either 1,000 pounds of food or raising $1,000, or a combination of the two during the month of September.
Manatee School Board member Julie Aranibar and Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore are spearheading this effort and encouraging the community to help out.
“It is critical that we step up and make a difference now,” said Aranibar. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I know we’re going to make a big impact for the people who are in great need right now.”
Many Manatee District schools and school support sites are expected to help out by donating non-perishable foods and proteins, such as canned tuna or chicken and jars of peanut butter to fill up food collection barrels. Anyone interested can obtain a Food Bank food collection barrel by calling (941) 747-FOOD. Food Drive Kits can also be found at the Food Bank’s website.
“It’s heartbreaking to think that Manatee children and families may be going to sleep hungry each night,” said Whitmore. “I know this community will step up to help in a great hour of need.”
For more information, contact the Manatee School District’s Office of Community and Press Relations at (941) 708-8770, ext. 2046, or contact the Manatee County Government at (941) 748-4501.