More than 700,000 people in the Tampa Bay area are “food insecure” according to Feeding Tampa Bay. This means they lack reliable access to safe, nutritious food. Children are some of the most affected by food insecurity. When children experience hunger, they are more likely to struggle in school.
In 2009, The Junior League of Tampa partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay (FTB) to create and sustain a “backpack” program, called Food 4 Kids. The goal is to provide food to disadvantaged children over the weekends, when they are not receiving meals at school. After 11 years, the League began working with FTB to update our service model. During the 2019-2020 School Year we launched 2 School Food Pantries at Title I Schools in Hillsborough County.
The League currently funds and operates school food pantries at Foster Elementary/Sligh Middle School and Clair-Mel Elementary School. The Food 4 Kids Pantry programs allow students, parents, and caregivers to shop the food they need most. In the program’s inaugural year 1,110 people were served, including 668 children.
We expect an even greater need for the 2020-2021 School Year, as our community copes with COVID-19. You can help students and families facing food insecurity by giving today.
Learn more about our partner Feeding Tampa Bay.