TAMPA, Fla. — The forklift got quite a workout Wednesday at the Feeding Tampa Bay warehouse. A whopping total of more than 78,000 boxes of cereal was donated by General Mills to bolster the Cereal For Summer mission.
"We definitely love working with Feeding Tampa Bay,” said Katie Fenech, who works as the brand experience assistant manager at General Mills. “We partner with them across several initiatives across the year, (with) Cereal For Summer definitely being our largest."
The donation comes just a few days before a months-long push to collect cereal comes to a close. Feeding Tampa Bay has partnered with 10 Tampa Bay to gather meals for kids in need. According to Feeding Tampa Bay, one in four kids in the area is considered "food insecure," meaning they may not know how their next meal will be provided.
"It's so meaningful to us,” Kelley Sims, Feeding Tampa Bay’s Chief Development Officer, said of the General Mills donation. “It's incredibly important to Feeding Tampa Bay to know that we can meet the need for food in our children who are without it during the summer.”
In the first year of the outreach, Cereal For Summer was able to fetch about 25,000 boxes of cereal. Now, six years later, Feeding Tampa Bay expects the outreach will provide over 1,000,000 meals this summer.
“Feeding Tampa Bay feels blessed to be a part of the solution and then to know that we can bless kids with the support of others with the food that makes them, like, enjoy summer, it's a win all the way around,” said Sims.
Fenech agreed. "(It’s) my favorite event of the year. I love Cereal For Summer."
In April, T.G. Lee donated 2,500 gallons of milk to Feeding Tampa Bay. The donation, worth about $10,000, really bolstered donation efforts.
“It’s always critical to make sure folks have the food they need," Feeding Tampa Bay President and CEO Thomas Mantz said at the time. “I would describe it as historic need."
The Clearwater police department also made a significant donation this month to help serve hungry families.
When it comes to needing help providing food, the gap has widened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding Tampa Bay says 68 percent of families seeking food assistance at their pickup locations are seeking help for the first time.
You can be part of the Cereal For Summer campaign. To help, drop off a box of cereal at participating Sonny’s BBQ restaurants around Tampa Bay through May 14. Every morsel matters to the thousands of children in need around our community.
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