Member-led Work Teams

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!

To find out more about the projects the teams are working on and to get involved, join us the 2nd Thursday of the month 9:30 a.m., United Way Suncoast Building, 5201 W. Kennedy, Suite 600, Tampa, Florida 33609.

Currently Working On…

Garden2Go

Chair: Cliff Smith,  msuspartanman (at) msn.com

Caitlyn Peacock, TBNEH
Mark Trujillo, UF/IFAS
Rosy Bailey, In Season Pro, Food Systems
Gail Allen, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services
Malory Foster, UF/IFAS
Tyler Hoerst, TBNEH
Scarlett Amey-Wyns, Fresh Initiatives Supply Hub

The Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger has received a donation of Earthbox planters from the Earthbox Research Center in Ellenton Florida. We have also received a grant from the University of Florida IFAS Family Nutrition Program to construct other DIY Garden2Go boxes that function similarly to the Earthbox. The Earthbox planter and the DIY version are sub-irrigation watering systems ideal for growing vegetables and herbs in a small space.

Goals:

Select 7 initial sites which will distribute 41 boxes. Each recipient will receive a Garden2Go box that contains the soil, fertilizer, dolomite and plants of their choice. The recipients of the boxes have agreed to provide feedback on what work well, any problems they encountered, and suggestions for the next phase.

The sites chosen: Lealman and Asian Neighborhood Family Center, High Point Neighborhood Family Center, Meals on Wheels Tamp, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Taste It-Neighborly Care Network, Good Samaritan Mission, Florida Hospital Carrolwood, Food as Medicine Program.

The Work Team has completed Phase I and is working on a comprehensive report on the project.  In Phase II, Garden2Go boxes will be distributed during October 2016 (sites are being finalized), and the team will look into the possibility of buying and refurbishing used boxes.  The goals for the project are to add gardeners; focus on healthy food access and nutrition; and enable the disabled, seniors, and disadvantaged persons to enjoy the benefits of gardening.

The team is wrapping up the 2015-2016 growing season. Initially, 47 Garden2Go boxes were distributed. Gulfcoast Jewish Family Services distributed an additional 30 boxes to their clients. The team will be completing a year-end report the end of May. They are making plans for next season and looking for grant funding to expand the program. Next meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2016 at 10:30 AM at Gulfcoast Jewish Family Services.

Have 3 sites fully distributed and gone through initial process, all in Pinellas: St Pete Free Clinic, Lealman neighborhood family center, and Hyde Point Neighborhood Family Center.  All are going pretty well.  Have been using text message communications between participants; don’t have a percentage right now but at least half are corresponding with us by text and despite language barriers, we have had people respond with pictures of their boxes.  Looking forward to doing refill for Hyde Point on 25th and St Pete Free Clinic on 29th.  Over in Tampa, seeing the initial boxes get distributed at Meals on Wheels this coming week.  Launching Meals on Wheels program which is a little different; take the box and plants to the client and plant them with the client, a little Gardening 101, with a Master Gardener going on the truck to give the lesson.  Will start with four boxes directly to the clients and then keep a box for the staff on-site.  That will launch next Wednesday.  Total participants by this summer will probably be around 70-100 people with Earthboxes, so that will give us a good sense to see that the pilot is over, what have we learned, draw some conclusions.  (Taste It team) Did 5 sites in Pinellas at senior congregant dining sites.  The boxes are being held at the sites and are cared for by a couple of individuals; did a nutrition lesson in Taste It around it and it’s going well.  Many of the seniors are interested in having a smaller version of the box where they can garden and we’ve been collecting that information.

Food Recovery Work Team

Chair: Whitney Fung Email: whitneyfung (at) health.usf.edu

Tyler Hoerst, TBNEH
Mark Trujillo, UF/IFAS
Scarlet Amey-Wyns, FISH
Ashley Giasone, The Ryan Wells Foundation
Jessica Doricent, BayCare
Sharon Hicks, HCC

Recover excess food from restaurants, bakeries, and retail locations in the Tampa Bay Area by launching an app in partnership with Waste No Food to be used on smart phones, with corresponding website, to connect restaurants with local 501(c)(3) charities who can distribute the food to their clients.  The donor will be able to post a description of the excess food, including quantity and a pickup window.  The first recipient to claim the food will arrange for a driver trained in safe food handling practices to pick it up within that window.  If no recipient claims the food, research the possibility of enlisting farmers or compost facilities to use the excess food for animal feed or compost.

Launch pilot with approximately 3 donors in downtown St. Petersburg.  Ensure that app is functioning efficiently and that there are enough qualifying charities to receive the excess food of further donors.

Further goals:

Recruit further donors and launch full version of app.

Numerous charities have signed up to be recipients in the Waste No Food Tampa Bay app program.  The team is now focusing on signing up restaurants, farms, and corner stores to be donors.  Sweetwater Organic Community Farm recently donated several hundred pounds of fresh produce, which was picked up by Meals on Wheels Tampa, in our biggest donation ever.

Following a successful pilot in Gulfport, the team is now focusing on signing up more charity recipients in both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties before signing up more donors, to ensure that every donation will be picked up.  They are finalizing brochures to distribute to potential donors and working on window decals for donors to post once they have signed up.

Met with the recipient agencies to begin the training process. HCC (Shirley Hamilton) is vetting the recipients to ensure they are properly trained in food handling, etc. The restaurants in Gulfport have been contacted. We met with the Mayor of Gulfport to explain the program and they are supporting the food recovery efforts.

Pasco Work Team

Patty Jackson, BayCare’s Community Health Activation Team (CHAT)-Chair patricia.jackson (at) baycare.org
Lee Ann Carr, Florida Luxury Realty
Paula Warner, WellCare
Megan Sexton, Food and Nutrition Program, Pasco County Schools
Gladys Sanchez, Migrant Education Program, Pasco County Schools
Andrew Chouinard, UMCM Suncoast
Shari Breslin, UF/IFAS Family Nutrition Program
Lakisha Crumpler, UF/IFAS Family Nutrition Program
Tyler Hoerst, TBNEH
Patti Templeton, One Community Now
Amina Ahmed, Department of Health-Pasco
Jessica Doricent, BayCare’s Community Health Activation Team (CHAT)
Arianne Corbett, Leading Health
Betsy Crisp, UF/IFAS extension
Megan Carmichael, Department of Health and Food Policy Advisory Council-Pasco
Bill Stone, Metropolitan Ministries

Please join us for our monthly Pasco Work Team Meetings. We are a collaborative group working on hunger initiatives specific to Pasco County; see project notes for project highlights and awards, current projects, and information about the Pasco Food Policy Advisory Council. You don’t have to live or work in Pasco to participate. Your perspective and experience are always welcome and encouraged. Our volunteer members include people working for non-profit and for-profit businesses/agencies and interested citizens with no formal affiliations. Some of our members attend monthly and others participate as their schedules allow.

Our meetings are scheduled the third Thursday of each month from 9am to 10:30am.

Our meeting location is the Pasco Schools District Office.

The address is 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638, Building 4, “Business Services Building.”

***Turn at the light onto Gator Lane and Building 4 is on your left. ***

When you arrive, check in with the receptionist to receive a visitor’s pass. The district employee hosting our meeting is Megan Sexton and the meeting will be in the Food and Nutrition conference room.

If you are unable to attend in person but would like to participate by phone, please call in to (813) 794-2777. No pin is required.

If you would like to be added to the Pasco work team distribution list or have any questions, please e-mail Pasco work team chair Patty Jackson at Patricia.Jackson (at) baycare.org or contact her by phone at (727) 466-7713.

Project Progress:

Summer Break Spot Initiative

Megan Sexton, our partner with Pasco Schools FNP, reported some great statistics about the Summer Food Service program (SFSP) for 2017.

 Our goal was to increase mobile break spot site participation by 50 meals per day. Megan reports a 162 meal per day increase at the mobile sites, which is a 38.6% increase over last year.  

Last year, Summer BreakSpot sites attracted a couple of hundred walk-ins (children not affiliated with another program). This year the walk-in number was close to 5000!  The total number of meals served was 253,522, serving 4 fewer days this year.

Megan gives our work team a lot of the credit for getting the word out! Great job team!!!  The Pasco SFSP was given the Summer Trailblazer award for 2017! The objective of this award is to recognize sponsors that utilize targeted approach methods to increase meals served within their sponsorship. Megan gives our work team much of the credit for the increases in participation for 2017.  In the application, Megan specifically talked about the grassroots marketing effort with over 20,000 flyers distributed and the increase from 200 to over 5,000 with walk-ins and bus participation up over 30%.

Pasco County Summer Food Service program (SFSP) received two awards from the Florida Department of Agriculture for 2016:  The Farm Fresh Healthy Meal Award, for serving healthy meals, Florida-grown produce, and providing nutritional food education; and The Above and Beyond Award, for excellence in expansion and innovation. The awards were presented at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on April 14, 2017.  Megan Sexton, coordinator for the Pasco SFSP, cited our work team’s efforts as a big part of the program’s enhanced success in 2016, which included an almost 500 meals per day increase over 2015 and the first year the Pasco program has ever made a profit, in the amount of $137, 400, which was put back into the program.

Current projects:

SFSP/Summer BreakSpot initiative

The Pasco TBNEH work team will continue to evaluate successes/opportunities from the 2017 SFSP/Summer BreakSpot initiative to create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) by March 15 to enhance participation in 2018.

 Pack-A-Sack

To piggy back on the SFSP project, the TBNEH Pasco work team would like to help either expand or enhance Pack-A-Sack/ and Pack-A-Sack like programs in Pasco. We are in the process of gathering information and creating goals.

  • Our work team determined it would be most helpful to identify and link leads (organizations/individuals who can adopt a school for at least a year) to Patti Templeton with One community Now and to Diana Thomas with the Thomas Promise Foundation ( go to www.onecommunitynow.org  and  www.thethomaspromise.org for additional info). The highest need appears to be in West Pasco, particularly for students at the middle and high school level.
  • We will develop a Pasco specific script to use to promote the program to businesses/non-profits using Pinellas materials as a template at our January 2018 meeting.
  • We will create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) by February 15.
  • Additional  suggestions discussed for expanding/enhancing Pasco Pack-A-Sack program have been: use best practices, explore grant opportunities, create sustainable marketing campaign, importance to not all go to the “same well” look for creative ways to locate new funding sources, especially with cutbacks, engage the  business community-identify businesses who can cross county lines, foster collaborations with non-profits/churches, create a culture of engagement, provide extensive support to volunteers for recruitment and retention, involve youth groups/create practices that reduce stigma.

Other projects in the works

Help to promote the Waste No Food initiative-get the word out and identify non-profits and businesses in Pasco who are willing to participate; provide links to Tyler Hoerst with TBNEH.

  • Increase donations for buses/vans to be used for SFSP, since profits cannot be used for purchasing transportation vehicles and program is dependent on old school vehicles and donations, which limits expansion of mobile sites in areas of high need without access to transportation. Briefly discussed by our team but no goals/ immediate action initiated.
  • Explore ways to increase participation in the Pasco Schools Breakfast program-Arianne Corbett will be providing additional information on how our work team might help with this initiative.

FYI: Did you know Pasco has a Food Policy Advisory Council?

 Purpose:
The Food Policy Advisory Council (“FPAC”) was established by the Board of County Commissioners on May 19, 2015 for the purpose of supporting an equitable, resilient, local food system in the County and to facilitate the review of responsible policies that improve the access to culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound and affordable food produced in the County.  It will   provide credible, well-conceived community food policy advice that can dramatically reduce instances of chronic disease and obesity, preserve agricultural lands, promote agricultural uses throughout the County, and assist in the development of new businesses in the food system sector.

Membership:
The FPAC is composed of up to nine (9) members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and be comprised of:

  1. A farmer residing and farming in Pasco County;
  2. A health care professional employed by the Pasco County Department of Health;
  3. A food/nutrition professional employed by the District School Board of Pasco;
  4. An academic professional specializing in cultural studies/ecology employed by a local university or higher education institution;
  5. A local representative from an established farmer’s market;
  6. An attorney practicing in Pasco County with experience in food systems;
  7. A representative from a not-for-profit organization within the food system sector operating in Pasco County; 8.  A professional employed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food/Agriculture
  8. Science (“IFAS”) program working in Pasco County’s Cooperative Extension  Program; and
  9. A representative from a grocer/distributor industry.

Terms:
Membership on the FPAC shall be for a term of two (2) years.

Meetings:
FPAC shall meet at a minimum quarterly or more frequently as agreed upon by a majority vote of the members.  A Pasco County Planning/Development staff member shall provide support based on his/her availability.

FPAC Webpage:
http://www.pascocountyfl.net/index.aspx?NID=2304

Summer Break Spot Initiative

Summer 2016 – An almost 500 meals per day increase over 2015 and the first year the Pasco program ever made a profit. The amount was $137,400, which was put back into the program. Pasco Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) received the Above and Beyond Award for excellence in expansion and innovation, largely in part to our work team and especially Megan Sexton, the Pasco Schools FNP coordinator.

Summer 2017 – Last year our goal was to increase mobile break spot site participation by 50 meals per day. Megan reported a 162 meal per day increase at the mobile sites, which was a 38.6% increase over 2016. In addition, walk-ins (children not affiliated with another program) increased from a couple of hundred in 2016 to close to 5000 in 2017

Pasco SFSP received the Summer Trailblazer award to recognize sponsors that utilize targeted approach methods to increase meals served within their sponsorship. Pasco SFSP also received the USDA National Best Practices Award for 2017, with Megan once again giving our work team much of the credit for the program’s success.

Also, under “Current projects:” and under “SFSP/Summer BreakSpot Initiative” could you add the following:

Summer 2018 – Our team has been collaborating with the Pasco Food and Nutrition staff since 2017 and has been busy since April 2018 with getting the word out about the Summer BreakSpots through e-mail, social media, in the community at meetings, and at other venues. Our team has been doing this by putting up and distributing flyers, posters, magnets in strategic areas to increase participation, especially in the high need areas of Holiday, New Port Richey, Port Richey (especially in zip code 34668), Hudson, Spring Hill, Land O’ Lakes, Zephyrhills/Crystal Springs (especially in zip code 33540), Wesley Chapel, and Dade City/Lacoochee. We primarily targeted low attendance sites from last year as well as the new stationary and mobile sites. Corporate support has been tough to come by, but Publix has helped with putting Summer BreakSpot flyers in their Pasco County locations.

Megan provided the following data for Pasco SFSP for June 2018:

  • Overall participation is up 3.75%.
  • In June we served 49,522 breakfasts, 80,623 lunches, and 7,676 snacks.
  • Last year, we had 5,000 walk-ins all summer. This year, we have had that amount already in June alone.
  • We served 722 children and 144 adults (through community donations) at the SPIKE events.
  • Mobile participation at existing sites is up 9.20% from last year. Mobile participation overall is up 41.14% due to the addition of multiple vans delivering meals to community parks and libraries.

Goals for 2018

  • To increase awareness and participation in Pasco SFSP for 2018 by sharing, liking, posting, reposting information about the SFSP using e-mail and social media including forwarding the following Facebook link  https://www.facebook.com/summerfoodpasco/ to family, friends, and community contacts. This will begin on May 21, 2018 and continue through August 3, 2018 with progress evaluated by SFSP staff report and team members self-report.
  • To increase awareness and participation in SFSP for 2018 by providing information and distributing promotional materials at community meetings and other community locations. We will also encourage others to do so beginning May 21 and continuing through August 3, 2018 with progress evaluated by SFSP staff data and team members self-report.
  • To increase participation by 30 meals per day in high need areas located in zip codes 34668-Port Richey and 33540-Zephyhills/Crystal Springs by canvassing and distributing/ posting SFSP promotional materials (i.e. posters/flyers/magnets) at local businesses, churches, community organizations, and in neighborhoods. The focus is to include materials within one-mile radius of each site throughout the summer as needed, with progress evaluated by SFSP staff data.
  • To increase participation in 10 lowest attendance walk-in sites (still in existence) from 2017 by 25% by canvassing and distributing/ posting SFSP promotional materials (i.e. posters/flyers/magnets) at local businesses, churches, community organizations, and in neighborhoods. The focus is to include materials within a one-mile radius throughout the summer as needed with progress evaluated by SFSP staff data.
  • To increase awareness of new stationary and mobile sites in  New Port Richey (4), Hudson (2), Spring Hill (3), Land O’ Lakes (1), Zephyrhills/Crystal Springs (4)-especially in zip code 33540, Wesley Chapel (6), Dade City/Lacoochee (4), by canvassing and distributing/posting SFSP promotional materials (i.e. posters/flyers/magnets) at local businesses, churches, community organizations, and in neighborhoods. The focus is to include materials within a one-mile radius throughout the summer as needed with progress evaluated by SFSP staff data.

Fed40

Cliff Smith, City of St. Petersburg
Vecelia Johnson, WellCare
Ace Padian, Network To End Hunger
Caitlyn Peacock, Network To End Hunger

Fed 40 is a revolutionary mobile app designed to disrupt hunger in America. The Fed 40 app is being called the food pantry of the future and has already distributed nearly 100,000 meals to children and families in need.  People looking for food assistance fill out some basic information through the app and Fed40 sends them 40 servings of tasty and nutritious meals at no cost to them.

Fed40 is looking to expand to the Tampa Bay Area with assistance from TBNEH.

Policy Work Team

Chair: Arianne Corbett (Leading Health, LLC),  arianne (at)  leadinghealth.com;

Members:
Mark Trujillo (UF/IFAS),
Jan Baskin (Florida Hospital Carrollwood),
Whitney Fung (University of Florida),
Ericka McThenia (community volunteer),
Eve Spengler (Bay Mulch Farms),
Debra Prewitt (JWB),
Ace Padian (TBNEH),
Caitlyn Peacock (TBNEH)
Jennifer Webb
Lynn Geist
Allison Nguyen
Sandy Cooper
Mary Kate Harrison
Jan Baskin
Tyler Hoerst