TAMPA (WFLA) – In this week’s Cate’s Corner, Keith Cate talks about the importance of Feeding Tampa Bay and food banks around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are his thoughts:

Hey Grandpa, what’s for supper? Some of you may recall, Grandpa Jones answering that question on the cornball comedy show Hee Haw describing country-meals in rhyme.

“I got a big roast, piping hot, and I dropped taters and onions down in the pot, celery stuffed with pimento cheese, hot tea and peach pie that’s bound to please.”

That Hee Haw skit crossed my mind this week after reporting on the record number of people in Tampa Bay still asking:  What’s for supper?  

One year ago, 600,000 families in our region lacked affordable, nutritious meals.  In the wake of coronavirus, the number of people asking what’s for supper nearly doubled and Feeding Tampa Bay has risen to the challenge. 

Last year, the non-profit spent millions buying more food, doubling staff, adding a warehouse, and increasing volunteers. 

So what’s for supper? Feeding Tampa Bay answered with enough food to create 85-million meals, 10 mega pantry distribution sites had to be created to handle the demand, on top of the 400 pantries already established.

They became a lifeline for the community, 6 out of 10 people served said it was the first time they’d been to a food pantry.    

Like COVID-19 vaccination lines, food lines are beginning to shorten. That’s good news. But the long-term effects of the pandemic remain as households struggle to recover.

News Channel 8 is a proud supporter of Feeding Tampa Bay and we encourage you to join us.  Take a minute to go to Feeding Tampa Bay’s website and look at all they’re doing and how you can help answer the question: “What’s for supper?”