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Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen pay for 750,000 meals through Feeding Tampa Bay

The donation will help a group battling to feed the Tampa Bay region’s needy families during the coronavirus crisis.

TAMPA — Tom Brady has yet to handle his first snap as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and he may still need a map to find his way to Raymond James Stadium.

But the six-time Super Bowl winner and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, are already making a difference in their new community.

Related: Eddie DeBartolo donates $2.65M for coronavirus treatment at Tampa General

The couple have made a sizable donation to Feeding Tampa Bay, the group announced on its Twitter page Tuesday. It comes as the nonprofit, the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community, faces a 40 percent increase in demand as newly unemployed people turn to food banks for help. In normal times, Feeding Tampa Bay serves more than 700,000 people in a 10-county region, providing more than 5 million meals a month.

The donation from Brady and Bündchen will pay for 750,000 meals, said the group, which is not disclosing the amount of the gift.

The nonprofit used to tell donors that a $1 donation would pay for up to 10 meals, which would have put the donation from Brady and Bündchen in the range of $75,000. But that ratio no longer holds as panic buying and a subsequent drop in food donations from grocery stores mean Feeding Tampa Bay has been forced to pay for food that once was donated.

Volunteers with the Feeding Tampa Bay and the Community Food Pantry prepare boxes and bags of groceries and even fresh flowers at a dirve-thru distributuion center in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Feeding Tampa Bay has mobilized during the coronavirus pandemic to provide thousands of meals to children who normally eat breakfast and lunch at schools, and to seniors whose communities have limited or banned visitors.

Last week, the Tampa Bay Rays committed $250,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay: a $100,000 donation and $150,000 in matching funds for an online food drive.

Related: ‘I’ve never done this before’: Tampa Bay food pantries see surge of the suddenly unemployed

Brady, 42, signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs in March that includes nearly $9 million in performance incentives.

Moving to Tampa ends his 16 years as honorary co-chairman of Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, a nonprofit that advocates for people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, typically by pairing them with students.

Brady was also reported to have donated $100,000 to a Hurricane Harvey relief fund set up in 2017 by Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt.

Want to donate or find a food bank near you?

feedingtampabay.org/

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