Tampa Bay Food Banks Prepare for Pandemic’s Long-Term Effects on Families in Need

We’re four months into the pandemic, and food banks are seeing a steady line of people.


“We’re starting to see that pick back up now. Cause we’re seeing a second wave, if you will, of concern,” said Feeding Tampa Bay president and CEO Thomas Mantz.

Mantz says an additional 10,000 families a week are getting food from their drive through mega pantries, a result of Covid-19.

For the organization, though, unprecedented times have taken on a whole new meaning:

“We rely typically rely on donated food. For the first time in our organization’s 37 year history, we’ve bought millions of dollars worth of food at this point, that we’re then donating back into the community,” said Mantz.

Now, food pantries are bracing for long-term effects.

People continue to get laid off. Stimulus checks are running out.

The folks at St. Vincent De Paul Society Diocese of St. Petersburg say they’re expecting an uptick when the eviction freeze expires.

“Chances are we’re looking at the end of this month depending on what the governor decides going forward,” said president Nancy Jones.

These food pantries are relying on grants and donations to help as many as possible during these times.

“Beyond that, we just have to take it, one person, at a time and hope for the best and continue to pray that all goes well,” Jones said.

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