Last week I attended an amazing fundraising event, co-sponsored by one of our BSB vendors, Tastes of Tampa Bay (a.k.a. Street Surfer Food Truck), that completely transformed my perspective on our local food bank and community needs. The event was called the Hunger Dinner, put on by Feeding Tampa Bay.
‘In Tampa Bay, over 700,000 people are food insecure, meaning they lack consistent and easy access to safe and nutritionally adequate food. In the United States 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger.’
The premise of the Hunger Dinner was simple: 1. Every guest received an envelope at the time of arrival. 2. After a fun cock-tail hour, they were addressed by FTB’s Director, explaining the purpose of the evening: discussing the true disparity of being food secure and how limited nutritional, sustainable food options are for those that are food insecure. 3. He then instructed the audience to open their envelopes. Each envelop had one of two messages inside: a. You are food secure and will have a nice three course meal, catered by Tastes of Tampa Bay (including formal flatware and plates) or b. You are food insecure and have a very limited budget available to purchase the non-catered food items available (on paper plates). This envelop option also came with one of two stories, explaining why someone might be food insecure. As people went onto their tables, they were met with half of the seats filled with place settings and salad plates, and the other seats were empty. It was truly humbling to watch as the tables filled up with guests and see their reactions as some guest received gourmet meals, and the others, not so much. Conversation continued over dinner as each table discussed how important it is to support organizations fighting food insecurities and to be sensitive to those in need of help.
For more information about giving back to Feeding Tampa Bay visit their website HERE. For every $1 donated you are providing 10 meals to the community. To find your city’s local food back visit Feeding America HERE.