Hillsborough County

Feeding Tampa Bay helps our friends, neighbors who have fallen on tough times

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Across the Tampa Bay area, many of our friends and neighbors are struggling to stay afloat.

On one end, the homeless but on the other are people and families who have fallen on very hard times.

Feeding Tampa Bay is helping them all cope by providing food through local food pantries.

Carol Piller and her son Nicholas go to the St. Ann's Pantry in Ruskin every week to help stretch their family's botton line.

They started going to St. Ann's after medical problems forced Carol to give up her job working with special needs children.

"We started going to the food bank! For groceries for him. We didn't realize that he was so much in need of having to look at so many different things," Piller said.

Nicholas has special dietary requirements, but now he is able to look over labels himself and choose foods that are safe for him to eat.

"I can have soybean oil, and canola. But not palm oil,coconut oil, and palm kernal," he said.

Most of the food at St. Ann's is supplied by Feeding Tampa Bay.

Volunteers distribute the fresh meat, produce and non-perishables to families from the surrounding area.

"On an average day, it's over 500 families, 15 to 20 thousand pounds of food each week," said Paul Wiskotoni.

Wiskotoni says the ages range between 18-years-old up to seniors in need of food assistance.

Piller returns each week because the food comes with an extra serving of dignity.

"I think the people are super nice whether it is staffing at Feeding America or staffing here. We always make it a point to come here," she said.

News Channel 8 is a proud partner of Feeding Tampa Bay.

This Friday, our entire staff will once again volunteer our time at the main distribution center in Tampa.

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