Meals on Wheels for Kids delivering lunches for students during school closures in Pinellas County


PINELLAS CO., Fla. (WFLA) – It’s hard enough for many families to feed their kids every day who depend on school lunches, and without them, some local children go hungry but now a local charity is riding to the rescue.

Thanks to Pinellas County school bus drivers, instead of delivering kids to school they’re delivering some good food for kids.

“Do you miss your kids,” asked 8 On Your Side’s Marco Villarreal to Barbara Gieselman.

“Yes! Yes,” she replied.

She usually drives a yellow school bus, but today she’s in a red SUV

“Yeah, I’m driving meals which is kind of fun. It’s kind of cool to see the smile on their face when they realize all the food that they’re getting,” said Gieselman.

It’s the new Meals on Wheels for Kids program who in partnership with The Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger is teaming up with the Daystar Life Center and the Pinellas County School’s Food and Nutrition.

Tahani Takrouri is a mother of seven and is very thankful for the new program.

“I had good food, but this makes it much better,” said Takrouri, the South African mother who’s lived in Pinellas County for seven years.

Gieselman showed up with five frozen lunches for each of Takrouri’s seven children and non-perishable food to last a week for the rest of the family.

“I say I appreciate it. Thank you, thank you so much,” said Takrouri to Gieselman.

“It makes me feel good inside thinking that we’re helping other people, like you said, who do not have, like we have, the opportunity to go out and to buy food and supplies that they need, and make sure that these babies, their tummies are full,” said Gieselman.

Organizers of the Meals on Wheels for Kids program are starting with deliveries to 25 families, and expect that jump to 150 families next week.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from this program, please call Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger at (813) 344-5837 or submit an application. If you are eligible, the meal delivery service begins on the following Monday, while schools are closed.

If you a looking to volunteer Meals on Wheels for Kids you can complete a volunteer application here.

The Tampa Bay Network is also currently accepting donations to help pay for the cost of meals and you can donate here. A donation of just $15 will provide a week of Meals On Wheels for Kids deliveries to children in need.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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