BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) — Many people across the Tampa Bay area are still without power and struggling to get water and food.
On Monday, a Polk County church teamed up with Feeding Tampa Bay to address those needs.
The congregation at Turning Point Worship Center in Bartow partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay, which partnered with a Houston Food Bank to hand out water and food to nearly 200 families.
Pastor Tom Presley knows what they’re doing now is extremely important.
“The stores are low on water so it’s a good opportunity to get water in the households,” Presley said. “It’s important to work together to get these things so we can get back to some sort of normality and get people water and food and make it easier on them.”
Theresa Whitman stopped by the church to pick up water for her family.
“For those people to come from Texas to bring food over here was a blessing,” Whitman said.
Whitman rode out the storm with her husband. Their home is fine, but it’s water they need right now.
“Right now, Bartow is under a boil water restriction but water is, you can always share water,” Whitman said,
At the Peace River Village mobile home park, families have struggled for days. Homes are damaged, there’s no power and the majority of the streets are flooded.
“It’s just sad and overwhelming,” Liza Gallegos said.
It’s hard for Gallegos to get to her home because the water is too high.
“Somebody lend me their canoe and I canoed back and forth getting necessities,” Gallegos said.
She has to live with other family now, because the damage to her home is too much.
“Even though I have a place to go it’s still overwhelming because I made it my home. That was my home,” Gallegos said.
Whitman says she’s blessed because she knows what happened down south could’ve happened here.
“We didn’t get devastated like our friends down south, God bless them,” Whitman said. “We had a little damage but working together as neighbors is awesome.”
Presley and Turning Point Worship Center will deliver more food to people in the community this week.