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,  City of St. Petersburg, msuspartanman@msn.com

Members:
Gail Allen, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services
Scarlett Amey-Wyns, Fresh Initiatives Supply Hub
Rosy Bailey, In Season Pro, Food Systems
Malory Foster, UF/IFAS
Caitlyn Peacock, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger
Mark Trujillo, UF/IFAS

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, University of South Florida, whitneyfung@health.usf.edu

Members:
Scarlet Amey-Wyns, FISH
Jessica Doricent, BayCare
Ashley Giasone, The Ryan Wells Foundation
Sharon Hicks, Hillsborough Community College
Mark Trujillo, UF/IFAS

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

Chair: Patty Jackson, BayCare, patricia.jackson@baycare.org

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

Please join us for our monthly Pasco Work Team Meetings. We are a collaborative group working on hunger initiatives specific to Pasco County. 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 the 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@Baycare.org or contact her by phone at (727) 466-7713.

Thank you!

Hope to see you there!!!

Project Progress:

Summer Food Service Program Initiative

We help increase awareness and participation in the Pasco Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in a variety of ways, including word of mouth, car magnets, social media, e-mails, flyers and poster displays. We also provide valuable feedback on promotional materials and lessons learned. By canvassing areas within a mile of each Summer Break Spot site, Pasco work team members connect with local businesses, churches, community organizations and parents. We learn the characteristics that make a particular site successful, as well as strategies for encouraging parents to allow their children to board summer meal buses or attend an open school site. Then most critically, we pass this vital information on to Megan Sexton, coordinator for Pasco SFSP, and her staff to help enhance the program.  Our success speaks volumes.

Below are 4 years of highlights from our Summer Food Service Program 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.
  • Summer 2018-Walk-ins (children not affiliated with another program) increased from a couple of hundred in 2016 to close to 5000 in 2017 and was close to 9,000 in 2018. Participation at last year’s targeted low attendance sites was up over 34% from 2017. There was a 30% increase in mobile site participation over 2017. Despite a significantly higher food cost this year, the Pasco SFSP still made a profit of $45, 270.32, which will be put back into the program. This year the SFSP initiated a social media expansion campaign and received over 36,000 likes on Facebook. Once again, our work team was given a significant amount of the credit for getting the word out and promoting the program in the community.
  • Summer 2019- There was an 866 meals per day (14% increase) over 2018. Over 235,000 meals were served with 5 less serving dates in 2019. Mobile Meals average daily participation increased by 257 meals per day or 30%.  28,000 meals were served on the buses; an additional 6000 meals served from vans. Social media reach more than quadrupled. The highly successful partnership between the Pasco School and Nutrition Program and the TBNEH Pasco work team was highlighted in the February 2019 issue of the School Nutrition Association magazine in an article titled: “Can We Weave a Hunger Safety Net? Aligning the missions and work of school nutrition and anti-hunger organizations in an effort to reduce food insecurity in America” By Arianne Corbett, RD, and Laura Hatch, MPH.  Our partnership is specifically mentioned under the section titled “A Brain Trust.” Here is a link to the electronic version: https://lsc-pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=564964&ver=html5#{%22issue_id%22:564964,%22page%22:18}

Weekend Feeding Program Initiative

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. Visit www.onecommunitynow.org  and www.thethomaspromise.org to learn more about their programs.  The highest need appears to be in West Pasco, particularly for students at the middle and high school level. We developed and are currently distributing a flyer to increase awareness and support for the two largest Weekend Feeding Programs in Pasco, One Community Now’s Pack- A- Sack Program and Thomas Promise Foundation’s Operation Backpack Program.

Other projects in the works:

  • Explore ways to increase participation in the Pasco Schools Breakfast program in collaboration with Arianne Corbett with Leading Health, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign
  • Explore opportunities to reduce Senior Hunger in Pasco in partnership with Pasco County Senior Services and other community partners.

Some of our regularly attending members include:

Patty Jackson, BayCare’s Community Health Activation Team (CHAT)-Chair

Lee Ann Carr, Florida Luxury Realty

Megan Sexton, Food and Nutrition Program, Pasco County Schools

Gladys Sanchez, Migrant Education Program, Pasco County Schools

Shari Breslin, UF/IFAS Family Nutrition Program

Chloe Kidd, TBNEH

Patti Templeton, One Community Now

Alyssa Smith, Department of Health-Pasco

 

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

Meetings are open to the community with opportunity for public comment

https://www.pascocountyfl.net/2304/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.

Policy Work Team

Chair: Arianne Corbett, Leading Health, LLC.,  arianne@leadinghealth.com

Members:
Mark Trujillo, UF/IFAS
Jan Baskin
Whitney Fung, University of South Florida
Lynn Geist
Mary Kate Harrison
Ericka McThenia, Community Volunteer
Allison Nguyen
Debra Prewitt, JWB
Ace Padian, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger
Caitlyn Peacock, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger
Eve Spengler, Bay Mulch Farms
Jennifer Webb

Fed40

Chair: Cliff Smith, City of St. Petersburg

Members:
Vecelia Johnson, WellCare
Ace Padian, Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger
Caitlyn Peacock, Tampa Bay 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.