Tag Archives: Tampa

Families Dealing with Food Insecurity Arrives in Citrus County | Instant News


CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. – The number of families still struggling to get food on the table in Citrus County continues to increase, but according to the Citrus County Community Food Bank, for every dollar donated, they can prepare about 10 meals.


What you need to know

  • Citrus Regency Community Food Bank officials said the number of needy families continued to increase in the district
  • Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank served around 17,000 people; currently serving around 60,000 people
  • Officials say for every dollar donated to the food bank, about 10 meals can be prepared

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic, food banks are still setting record numbers of needy people.

Food Bank Executive Director Barbara Sprague told Bay News 9 that it takes about 24 hours for donations to arrive and be distributed to needy families.

“We used to feed about 17,000 people across our territory in this community and now we continue to feed about 60,000,” he said.

The community has partnered with local restaurants and local barbershop for their annual Empty Bowls event to help fight hunger.

“Every time you buy something at one of our restaurants and eat there or go there, it helps feed other people’s families,” he said of the Empty Bowl Campaign.

Sprague says his goal is to raise about $ 10,000 during the week of April 11-17 through the Empty Bowl Campaign.

“We want to make sure we get as many pounds as possible here because we want to push that poundage out and into the mouths and stomachs of people who are facing food insecurity today,” said Sprague.

He said in Citrus County the assistance was extraordinary. Some people have even donated their stimulus checks to help get more food in the warehouse because they feel they don’t need it as much as they feel others in the community could benefit from, said Sprague.

Below is a list of restaurants in Citrus County that have partnered to help the Food Bank:

  • Tim’s Barbershop
  • Amy is at Avenue Boutique & Bistro
  • Cow Dog Coffee Roaster
  • Wallace is in the Greenhouse
  • Manatee Maven
  • Twenty Two Katch Restaurant

Visit too feed352.org for restaurant specials and online donations.

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Hillsborough-Pinellas Summer Games Special Olympics in Tap | Instant News


Saturday morning, Bay Area athletes will compete at the Special Olympics.


What you need to know

  • The Hillsborough-Pinellas Summer Match kicks off Saturday
  • The COVID-19 Guidelines will be put in place
  • Everyone is invited to attend and support the athletes

Three hundred athletes participate in the Hillsborough-Pinellas Summer Games at the Jesuit High School.

That number is down from previous years, partly because of the pandemic.

In 2020, organizers were forced to cancel the Special Olympics in Tampa because of the coronavirus.

This year, West Coast Regional Director Ken Roop said security measures had been put in place.

“Everyone was checked,” said Roop. “Everyone’s checked for temperature.”

Roop said everyone will be asked to wear a mask unless they compete.

There will be track and field, bocce, football, softball, cycling and tennis.

The Special Olympics will begin with the opening ceremony at the Jesuit Middle School at 9am

Everyone is invited to come to cheer on the athletes.

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Busch Gardens Adds More Concerts to Food & Wine Festival | Instant News


TAMPA, Florida – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has added more concerts to the lineup for its Food & Wine Festival.

Recently announced acts include Latin Blast (homage to Selena, Gloria Estefan and Santana), Fleetwood Max (homage to Fleetwood Max), En Vogue and Kool & The Gang.

The additional concert means the concert will also take place on Sundays in April. All performances will take place on the Festival Field stage.

Here’s the current concert lineup:

Saturday, March 27: .38 Special
Sunday, March 28: Vanilla Ice
Friday, April 2: Sugar Ray
Saturday, April 3: Sister Hazel
Sunday, April 4: Latin boom (tribute to Santana, Gloria Estefan and Selena) NEW
Saturday, April 10: LOCASH
Sunday, April 11: Fleetwood Max (tribute to Fleetwood Mac) NEW
Saturday, April 17: Tito Nieves
Sunday, April 18: En Vogue NEW
Saturday, April 24: Starship Feat. Mickey Thomas
Sunday, April 25: Kool & The Gang NEW

Concerts are included with park admission, however, as part of the park’s health and safety measures, the Field Festival operates at a limited capacity.

The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival features over 110 dishes and drinks. This festival lasts until April 25th.

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Health officials discourage spring break due to COVID | Instant News



IN THE STATEWIDE – Health experts are warning people to cancel their school break plans over fears of another COVID-19 outbreak. What you need to know Health experts are warning people to be careful with travel during spring break Coming together in close-up, fun situations could trigger a jump in COVID cases, they say, more than 1.3 million people tested at airports on Friday, officials report Highest number since March 15, 2020, transportation officials say Tampa Bay area and much of Florida are popular destinations for many people seeking sun and sand during spring break, especially this spring, given that it has been exactly a year since most of the world came to terms with the pandemic. More than 1.3 million people were screened at airports across the country on Friday, the highest number since March 15, 2020, the Transportation Security Administration reported. But the Centers for Disease Control discourages spring break travel, even for fully vaccinated people, saying the COVID virus has yet to be fully contained. “Anytime you have a situation where you’re going to have people moving to a separate place where there will be a gathering place, a party atmosphere, it’s totally understandable that people want to do that.” said Dr Anthony Fauci, said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s senior COVID adviser. “But it’s something we really need to be careful about. We want people to have a good time during spring break, but don’t let our guard down completely. Be careful a little longer. We are heading in the right direction. We are almost there.” .



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The Plant City Family Teaches Others About Food Security | Instant News


PLANT CITY, Fla. – A Plant City family teaches their community the importance of food security with the Aquaponic system.


What you need to know

  • The Plant City family teaching community on food security
  • The Gonyon family grows food organically on their farm
  • They help others learn about aquaponics systems

“I have traveled to 72 different countries doing missionary work,” said Pastor Eric Gonyon. “While I was in Haiti, I saw 4,000 orphans being fed one of these aquaponics systems.”

So Pastor Gonyon brought what he learned in Haiti back to Florida and is now building this food source for his people in his community.

“I want to produce my own meat and vegetables,” said Spirit Mike. The double product of fish is fertilizer and the waste itself produces all of these plants.

Spirit Mike and others are now investing in an aquaponics system for their community. This gardening tub is said to produce 8 times as much organic food at 1/6 the amount of water.

“Anyone can do it,; we try to educate people about growing their own food, ”said Pastor Gonyon, as he strolled through one of his many glass houses. “

The Land of Delight in Plant City currently hosts dozens of these standalone acuaponic systems.

“It’s a 6 pod grow system and it will easily feed three families from one,” said Pastor Gonyon. “You can grow cherry tomatoes, cucumbers. You can go up and vertical. “

The Gonyon family lives on a 6 hectare farm where they also sell produce from their land. Currently the family is focused on growing organically with 0 pesticides.

“There are ways it can be done, people think they can’t grow without pesticides but they can,” said Pastor Gonyon.

Land of Delight has a zoo, farmers market and dozens of locally grown fruit and vegetables.

“It’s a great place to visit on the weekends, said Pastor Gonyon’s wife, Jennifer Gonyon.

Jennifer helps make many of the organic soaps and other household items that they have in their shop. Their two children, Emily and Elliott, work on the farm.

“I teach bee and honey classes every weekend,” said Emily, 12. “Raw local honey can increase your energy.”

Land of Delight has a number of outdoor activities for families to do every weekend in addition to classes that teach people how to grow their own food using the aquaponic method.

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