Community Projects

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 N. Kennedy, Suite 600, Tampa, Florida 33609.

Currently Working On…

JWB Childhood Hunger

Danielle Hintz, Chair,  Email: dhintz (at) jwbpinellas (dot) org

Aleksandra Goldys
David West
Eve Spengler
Mark Trujillo

To share the pilot projects and overall initiatives that have been done in Pinellas County and from there develop projects for team involvement.

The next meeting will be May 25th at noon at JWB, 14155 58th St N., Clearwater.  There will be Breakspot flyers and outreach strategies as well as updates on the team’s other projects.

Pinellas initiative, pilots last summer with a small meeting after this for the committee.  Getting ready for this summer and focusing on a pilot in a small church in a zip code with high need, and are creating a tool kit for other churches or organization to use for the summer: how does the schedule look, how do you do orientation, what are suggestions for things to do on-site.  Will work with Met Ministries to get the word out and also working on the areas that have the highest need again.  We realize we started too late last year so we’re starting earlier this year.  And then working with Pinellas County Schools to see where else we might create mobile sites.  Other: food pantries in high schools; how to reach middle school kids; resources and materials to give to other communities outside Pinellas.

UMCM Food Hub

Andrew Chouinard, Chair Email:  foodprograms (at) umcmsuncoast (dot) org

Aleksandra Goldys
Danielle Hintz
Malory Foster

The initial program will be housed in the Clearview UMC church campus which borders the Lealman community.  The church has donated a building for use as the food hub which will serve to distribute food to pantries within the area along with a storage site for weekly food boxes which are distributed to the residents door to door through the Adopt a Block program.  Lealman UMC which borders the community on the north side is the proposed site for classes.

  • Develop relationships within the community, businesses and churches surrounding the target area.
  • Resource development and build capacity for volunteers, participants and facilitators.
  • Develop the food hub and relationships with suppliers.
  • Develop a food processing program (produce chop house and added value processing)
  • Coordinate timelines for two cycles of classes, 6-12 weeks each using the “Cooking Matters” curriculum and gardening with IFAS, University of Florida.
  • Schedule, recruit and teach two cycles of classes with monthly follow up mentoring.
  • Evaluate effectiveness through pretest and post-tests per class.
  • Begin initial resourcing for the second class offering on budgeting.

Evaluate the efficiency of the program overall. To expand to other communities with pantries in need of resources to keep up with food insecure population.

We are finalizing bids and will be installing walk in cooler and freezer combo at the FISH HUB in Lealman. We have hired a HUB manager in Lealman. The Lealman collaboration process is ongoing while we finish getting the building equipped for moving fresh vegetables into the area. Hope to be up and running by the end of November.

The Food Hub work team is proud to announce that it has received a grant through Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, and will use it to engage partners in helping the community of Lealman become a healthy community partner.

The team just finished applying for the Healthy St. Petersburg grant.  They are collaborating with local organizations to improve their ability to serve the community.  They are assembling Adopt-A-Block boxes weekly for weekend deliveries at the Hub location.  They have been accepting pallets of shelf-stable foods.

Will be taking dry items into the facility today; met with some refrigeration people including St Pete Free Clinic and hopefully RCS because need to have a walk-in cooler in place before those programs can support us to get USDA and other stuff into the hub.  Got a three-compartment sink in to prep community garden food, but we are open right now for dry stuff for food drives to have Adopt-A-Block and others distribute it.  Once the health department comes in and Okays it, we will be interested in partnering with the Food Recovery team to get more food and worked into the hub.  Then they will need help in getting a truck to be able to go pick up recovery food.  Also, just met with a mosque who will be helping put food together for Adopt-A-Block, and the goal is that when there is an influx of refugees to the area, the mosque will give food now in return for our teaching them how to set up a food pantry.  Finally, Scientologists may be donating money and food.

Lighthouse Ministries Mobile Pantries

Tony Samuels, Chair,
Email: lmi (at) lmin (dot) org

Team Members:
Christine Miller

To see how mobile pantries can be a solution to residents who live in food deserts.

Also provide info on the residents who live in these areas.

Goals:

Gather information how mobile pantries are becoming a major solution to solving food hunger issues in our community.  Also start a mobile pantry and do site visits to have a first hand experience of how this method is impacting our community.  Also provide existing pantries with resources to bring greater resources to the individuals that live in these food deserts.

The Children’s Board Hillsborough County awarded the work team, led by Lighthouse Gospel, a technical assistance grant for the purchase of new computers and software for the purpose of data collection and management of their hunger relief program, and also the Walmart foundation has awarded them a grant for the purchase of a refrigerated truck to transport food into the Sulphur Springs area.
Lighthouse Gospel is currently monitoring five mobile pantries serving the Hillsborough County Area and Pinellas County.  The work team is using those new computers to better manage data on mobile pantry operations and will have a new truck in operation by early July.

Pilot project is at 1814 N Fremont Ave in West Tampa.  There’s a church on that corner that let us use a vacant lot so we could set up there.  A lady from our church has been heading it up and going out there every Monday between 1-3.  This past Monday there was actually a crowd developing.  These people are really hungry.  They didn’t drive there, they walked.  The demographics were a lot of elderly people, single moms, even some children walked up with empty bags to be filled.  It was a really touching thing.  We brought about 1000 pounds of food to cover all the food groups – meat, vegetables, fruit, mac and cheese, Meals of Hope, and bread.  Not just trying to hype up numbers; something complete for families.  I’m seeing this mobile pantry is becoming a common thing.  There are three others we’re not heading but are affiliated: Winston Park, 40th St, and Robles Park Project.