Tampa, Florida -- The kitchen at Metropolitan Ministries was buzzing with activity as early as 3:30 Thursday morning as chefs and volunteers worked to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for more than 5,000 people in the Tampa Bay area.
Here's something to consider as you're preparing Thanksgiving for your family and friends...
Metropolitan Ministries will be serving more than 2,555 pounds of turkey, 1,600 pounds of mashed potatoes and 639 pies!
Metropolitan Ministries is only able to do this with the help and generosity of the Tampa Bay community. They serve the four county area of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk.
The Thanksgiving holiday launches the season of giving at the organization which has moved its Holiday Tent in Tampa from the site on North Florida Avenue to 400 W. Palm Avenue.
This is where you can drop off donations of food and toys and where qualified families can pick up donations.
This year, your help is needed more than ever because the number of people requesting assistance this holiday season is up 10%. Metropolitan Ministries says it expects to serve about 26,000 families this year.
If you need assistance or know of a family that needs assistance, it's not too late to ask for help. You can call click on the Metropolitan Ministries link above or call (813) 209-1200.
Metropolitan Ministries says requesting help is not something you should be ashamed of.
DO I QUALIFY?
Individuals and families with minor age children (0-17) struggling financially:
•Families that are currently receiving SSI, SSD,unemployment benefits, Medicaid
•Senior citizens, 60 years or older, struggling financially and or receiving social security income only
WHAT DO I BRING?
•Photo I.D. for applying adults
•Social Security cards or birth certificates for individuals, spouses, and minor children in the household
•Grandparents need proof of custody of grandchildren
•Proof of SSI, SSD or unemployment benefits
•Current utility bill (electric - water) or lease agreement
If you are able to help this holiday season, Metropolitan Ministries will be accepting food and cash donations. You can also donate toys for children. Toys for infants and teens are most needed throughout the holidays.
You can follow Metropolitan Ministries on Facebook by clicking here. They have provided a BOGO link to let you know which stores are offering buy one-get one free deals. The idea is to buy one item for your family and donate the free item.