TAMPA, Fla. — In a season when we give gifts to family, friends and loved ones, nonprofit organizations hope to make your giving list too.
This year, especially, food banks and meal programs have been touched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding Tampa Bay has nearly doubled the number of people it helps since many families have been financially impacted by the coronavirus.
"Before the pandemic, we saw 650,000 people in our care and now that's grown to over a million," said Shannon Hannon-Oliviero of Feeding Tampa Bay.
Metropolitan Ministries also doubled the number of people it provided holiday meal kits for.
Charities that provide meal assistance struggled during Thanksgiving because they weren't able to secure their large bulk orders because of supply chain issues and shortages in grocery stores, so they're asking for the community to step in before Christmas and Hanukkah.
Other nonprofits like Christmas for Fosters, which provides holiday gifts for children in foster care and their families, say that giving is what encourages recipients to pay it forward.
"When they [foster parents] feel their community loves them and supports them, it's what keeps pushing them on to continue serving and loving on these kids," said Sarah Weaver, founder of Christmas for Fosters.
Metropolitan Ministries needs at least 100,000 toys for kids of all ages this holiday season.
Consider donating to your favorite local nonprofit, whether it be an animal shelter or a food bank. If you can't donate money or items, consider donating your time by volunteering.
What other people are reading right now:
- Alcohol to-go could be here to stay for Florida restaurants
- Families of sailors killed in NAS Pensacola attack receive Purple Hearts
- Second $1,200 stimulus check 'may still be in play,' Biden says
- State Senate committee to review Florida's response to the pandemic
- Florida mother sues Legoland, says water park humiliated her son
- Here's where to see Christmas lights around Tampa Bay
►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter