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East County Monday, Sep. 30, 2019 10 months ago

Manatee food bank changes distribution model

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee to focus on providing emergency supplies due to food supply changes.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee will make changes to its food distribution model, focusing on providing emergency food services for infants and families in crisis, rather than distributing food in bulk to food pantries countywide.

According to a press release released today, Meals on Wheels PLUS recently was notified by the state-appointed contract administrator for USDA food donations the USDA had awarded its contract to its Feeding America affiliate, Feeding Tampa Bay. 

This change, in addition to changes made by Feeding America in July 2018 as part of their regional distribution model, will result in the diversion of 3 million pounds of food from Meals on Wheels' Food Bank of Manatee to Feeding Tampa Bay

The release states Meals on Wheels PLUS leaders advocated for the return of food supplies to Manatee County and sought procurement from other sources. However, the changes are necessary without the USDA contract.

The organization now will operate The Food Bank of Manatee with a focus on emergency food services, fresh produce and nutrition education for food-insecure families. It will continue to receive donations through food drives and monetary donations.

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