‘Our shelves are empty!’ Metropolitan Ministries holiday tent gets 15 donations in 11 days

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Most of the shelves are bare at Metropolitan Ministries holiday tent in Tampa. Their rows of metal racks should be brimming with canned and dry goods but according to the nonprofit’s President and CEO, Tim Marks, donations aren’t coming in as anticipated. 

“This year we are seeing a lull in donations. A couple of reasons could be we are in new location here off Rome Avenue with our holiday tent. The other one is the fact that Thanksgiving is the last week of November this year,” said Marks. 

Metropolitan Ministries believes the number of households seeking Thanksgiving assistance this year is 13,000. 

“This weekend we have over 1,000 boxes of food going into the community. Parts of Hillsborough, parts of Pinellas and into Pasco County. We need to meet the need to serve those families as well as starting on the 21st, families will be coming here and our shelves are empty,” said Marks. 

According to the nonprofit, their main tent has only received 15 donations in the last 11 days.  

Since 1972, Metropolitan Ministeries has provided services to poor and homeless families in the Tampa Bay area. They are now calling on the community to help with donations so that they can continue to do so.   

“What we would like to provide for our families are the traditional fixings for a holiday meal: frozen turkeys, canned yams, canned vegetables, stuffing, potatoes, rice, beans, cereal, and gravy. What we like to say is if you go out and do a BOGO, buy-one-get-one, do an extra go. BOGO, go. Buy one, give one to a family in need,” said Marks. 

According to Metropolitan Ministries, they alleviate suffering for 18,000 families in Hillsborough County, 5,000 in Pinellas County, and 7,000 in Pasco County. 

If you would like to make a donation, drop-off hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and starting Nov. 21, until 6:30 p.m.

Donations can be made at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa location at 2609 N. Rome Ave., Tampa, FL 33607 or their main location in Pasco:  3214 US Highway 19 North Holiday, FL 34691

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