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Bucs, Mosaic to open five food pantries around Tampa Bay

The team and Tampa phosphate company will donate money from each tackle this season to combat food insecurity
 
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' AdventHealth Training Center, shown Aug. 6 in Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' AdventHealth Training Center, shown Aug. 6 in Tampa. [ ARIELLE BADER | Times ]
Published Aug. 11, 2021

Two big-time Tampa organizations are teaming up to take on local hunger.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are partnering with the Mosaic Co., a Fortune 500 phosphate mining company, to open five local food pantries in the next five years, starting in October.

The first pantry, at Broward Elementary School, will serve about 300 local families with both perishable and non-perishable foods.

“This partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers represents our continued commitment to help those in need by removing barriers for individuals to thrive and succeed,” Mosaic president and CEO Joc O’Rourke said in a statement. “By improving access to healthy and nutritious food, we are helping to fuel better learning, development and overall wellness — components critical for future success.”

The Bucs and Mosaic will build and manage the pantries through Feeding Tampa Bay. Both organizations will donate $10 per tackle during the upcoming season to the charity. Mosaic, which mines phosphate for use in fertilizers, has donated $800,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay since 2010.

“This partnership with Mosaic is truly unique because it is specifically focused on making an even greater impact in the area of food insecurity for so many in our region,” Bucs chief operating office Brian Ford said in a statement.

In early July, people living in about 9.8 percent of households in Florida were living with food insecurity, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, meaning they worried about having enough to eat in the previous seven days. That’s about even with the national average.