TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For the second time this week, the NFL is partnering with Feeding Tampa Bay to hand out meals to those still recovering from the pandemic.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also in attendance Saturday. He helped hand out bags which included items like water bottles, masks, and wipes.
“Glad to be here,” Goodell said to 8 On Your Side.
The NFL hosted the meal distribution event as part of the “Huddle to Tackle Hunger” initiative that supports community members and local restaurants hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Obviously with the pandemic right now, food insecurity is a huge issue here and everywhere, and we wanted to make sure when we come into town we would make the biggest impact we could,” NFL Director of Community Relations Melissa Schiller said. “We’re helping neighbors help their neighbors here.”
This event is a launchpad for a 44-week program. The NFL foundation donated $250,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay to support those who need it the most.
Maggy Luciano has lived in the bay area for 35 years. Like so many families, her family faced some challenges in the last year, so getting meals from Feeding Tampa Bay is a blessing.
“With the pandemic, this helps out a lot,” Luciano said. “For a while I wasn’t working and a lot of these pantries helped out with the canned goods and pantry staples.”
The restaurants selected to participate in Huddle to Tackle Hunger were recommended by the NFL’s Super Bowl LV Business Connect program, which works proactively to create opportunities for experienced, diverse, and certified local small business owners to compete for contract opportunities related to NFL signature events such as Super Bowl.
The list of local restaurants who will benefit from the Huddle to Tackle Hunger program are Mr. B’s, Healthy & Fresco, Pipo’s, Mise en Place, Cask Social, Kay’s Kitchen, Mr. Emanada, Ava’s Lowcountry Cuisine, Datz, M&R Café Southern Cuisine, Michelle Faedo’s Tampeno Cuisine, and Island Flavors & Things.