TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Northeast Tampa woman decided to tackle food hunger in her community by launching a healthy juice bar in her neighborhood.
Shamica Ware became more concerned with the number of people living in poverty and now she’s on a mission to change the face of Northeast Tampa.
A blend of fresh fruits paired with a passion for a better community.
Shamica Ware is the owner of ZING Juice Bar and is determined to break down disparities with nature’s best.
“When I was over here in this area working and I couldn’t find anything for me to eat it just all came together,” said Ware.
Ware noticed nutritious food was hard to come by and realized she was in a food desert because the area is miles away from the nearest grocery store.
According to the US Census Bureau, the poverty rate in Northeast Tampa is about 17 percent.
“Some people don’t have transportation to get to the grocery store which might be more than two miles away,” said Ware. “So now they can actually walk and ride bicycles to get something that’s going to fuel their bodies.”
Her latest concern is centered around kids as they start their summer break. Many will go hungry without the guaranteed meals they get from school.
“The kids are going to be sedentary in their homes playing video games while moms are at work during the summer,” said Ware. “It’s scary.”
Busy moms like Carla Randall made the switch from quick fast-food meals after noticing her daughter’s energy decline.
“There was a lot of sluggish tiredness,” said Randall. “She was not used to healthy options, so she didn’t want to eat it.”
Access to nutrients is leaving a lasting impact on Reeka Mack who is a full-time caretaker for her cousins with ALS.
“He has complications swallowing,” said Mack. “So a lot of times he says he doesn’t want eat and will only eat a smoothie. So anytime he wants get a smoothie bowl we’re here a ZING getting him a bowl.”
It’s a labor of love paired with compassion for the community, the ZING Juice Bar is making a difference.
“It’s definitely my purpose on this earth,” said Ware.
For more information about where you can locate a summer meal site for student this summer, visit summerbreakspot.org