TAMPA — On any given day, 700,000 people in Tampa Bay are considered food insecure, meaning they lack ready access to adequate and affordable nutrition on a daily basis.
That number could surge proportionately in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Feeding Tampa Bay stepped up to the plate, strategically planning with local emergency management operations to provide vital food and supplies before, during and after one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic.
Late last week, volunteers and staff, working with hundreds of partner agencies, assembled 20,000-plus meals and stocked up local pantries.
After Hurricane Irma passes, Feeding Tampa Bay will open relief collection sites for people and families in crisis across a 10-county Tampa Bay region.
"As the hunger relief leader in our area, and as part of the Feeding Florida and Feeding America networks, we'll be gathering resources to be distributed across the state as we rebuild and replenish impacted communities," said Jayci Peters, director of marketing and communications.
Meanwhile, Meals on Wheels of Tampa will not deliver meals on Monday, but has crafted a contingency plan. It had Thursday and Friday volunteers to deliver regular meals as well as two other items: a frozen meal labeled "Monday, Sept 11" and a two-day nonperishable emergency meal kit.