Feeding Tampa Bay FRESHforce Program keeps moving forward despite Gov. DeSantis vetoing $400K

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – While Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the largest budget in Florida’s history, he also vetoed $400,000 for Feeding Tampa Bay’s FRESHforce Program.

FRESHforce is a job training program offering courses across three different industries: culinary, warehouse logistics, and truck driving.

“Obviously $400,000 from the state would have made a huge difference. It would have really had a deep impact on families in the Tampa Bay area,” Chief Programs Officer for Feeding Tampa Bay Matt Spence said.

Spence tells 8 On Your Side that money would have supported almost a year’s worth of scholarships for students who are working toward financial stability.

“You’re talking about dozens and dozens of adults in the Tampa Bay Area gaining those industry credentials and skills that they need,” added Spence.

However, despite not getting money from the state, Feeding Tampa Bay said this will not stop them from continuing the program. Spence said it will just make them work harder to make sure they get enough scholarship money to support students.

“We know we will get there . It’s just going to take a little bit of work and we may have to delay some more projects,” said Spence.

Right now, the current FRESHforce class is finishing up and set to graduate at the end of June. The next cohort of students will begin their training in July.

For more information about the FRESHforce program or Feeding Tampa Bay, click here.

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