PSTA in the Driver's Seat Addressing Hunger in Pinellas County with Feeding Tampa Bay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3rd, 2020
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Feeding Tampa Bay and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) continued their fight against hunger. After two very successful events in 2019 with a total of nearly 440 people attending, the two organizations teamed up once again to reach families in need (download photos here). More than 135,000 Pinellas County residents struggle with food insecurity. By working together, PSTA and Feeding Tampa Bay share the goal reaching our neighbors and making an impact in their lives.
On Tuesday, March 3rd at 9 a.m., PSTA hosted a Feeding Tampa Bay mobile food pantry at its south staff parking lot. We have found 71% of residents who had not been to a mobile pantry. 55% of them rode the bus and 58% heard about the event through PSTA and riding the bus.
What is a Feeding Tampa Bay mobile pantry? A refrigerated truck that delivers shelf stable foods, dairy, meats, prepared meals and fresh produce at no charge to our Tampa Bay neighbors in need. There is no charge, no qualifications or requests made with each attendee encouraged to “shop” for what is best served in their home. The goal is to provide nutritious foods for our neighbors in need with dignity and respect. PSTA and Feeding Tampa Bay’s partnership is the first of its kind, with a focus on public transportation accessibility. On a survey we did, the food pantry helped feed more than 550 people, including 109 children.
“At PSTA we continuously strive to make a difference in our community. As a transportation agency, we pride ourselves by getting to know our riders and take them where they need to be. We often hear and see their struggles firsthand and are excited to continue this great partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay to make our passengers and our community a healthier and happier place to live,” PSTA CEO Brad Miller said.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about continuing our partnership with PSTA in our mission to create a hunger-free Tampa Bay. We know that much of our success depends on support from strong and thoughtful organizations in our community. The first step is giving those in need convenient access to healthy food options, that begins today. Together, we have the opportunity to reach thousands of children, seniors, and families in Pinellas County and place a nutritious meal on their table,” Kelley Sims, Chief Development Officer said.
PSTA promoted this opportunity heavily throughout bus routes and sent riders a text message to let them know about the mobile food pantry event. Pantry shoppers received branded tote bags to carry home food (one per person).
Post the launch event at PSTA, plans have been made for another mobile food pantry event on May 5th.
Stephanie Rank, PSTA Public Relations Coordinator
O: (727) 540-1853 | C: (727) 249-6542
Shannon Hannon-Oliviero, Feeding Tampa Bay External Affairs Officer
C: (727) 243-9825
About Feeding Tampa Bay
As the backbone of hunger relief, Feeding Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in our community, serving a food-insecure population of more than 600,000 people in a 10-county region. Feeding Tampa Bay recovers surplus food from local growers, manufacturers, supermarkets, and organized community food drives and distributes it to those in need through direct programs and a partnership network of 500 community partners. Last year, Feeding Tampa Bay supplied 55 million meals to our neighbors, 4.5 million meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry. With the support of our partners, team and community we IMAGINE a hunger-free Tampa Bay - providing 115 million meals with dignity every year by 2025. www.FeedingTampaBay.org/IMAGINE
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 12.1 million rides per year. PSTA operates nearly 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 210 vehicles. More information is available at www.psta.net or follow @RidePSTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.