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Hunger Dinner Recap: Feeding Tampa Bay and Tastes of Tampa Bay

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. ttbftb (41 of 105)ttbftb (12 of 105) ‘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.’ ttbftb (14 of 105) 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. ttbftb (15 of 105)  ttbftb (40 of 105)  ttbftb (23 of 105)    ttbftb (60 of 105)ttbftb (19 of 105) ttbftb (24 of 105)ttbftb (20 of 105) ttbftb (21 of 105)   ttbftb (25 of 105)  ttbftb (28 of 105) ttbftb (29 of 105)  ttbftb (37 of 105)    ttbftb (54 of 105) ttbftb (105 of 105) ttbftb (56 of 105) ttbftb (58 of 105)  ttbftb (67 of 105) ttbftb (68 of 105)   ttbftb (74 of 105)  ttbftb (78 of 105)ttbftb (73 of 105)ttbftb (43 of 105)ttbftb (80 of 105) ttbftb (82 of 105) ttbftb (84 of 105) ttbftb (91 of 105) ttbftb (93 of 105) ttbftb (98 of 105) ttbftb (101 of 105) ttbftb (104 of 105) ttbftb (76 of 105) 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.

Weddings that Give Back- Jennifer and Jeremy

It is always such a pleasure to feature Real Weddings that Give Back. It’s even BETTER, when they are Real Weddings on our home turf: Tampa, FL. Black Sheep Bride vendor, Marilyn of Rising Lotus Photography, recently submitted this elegant water-front wedding. The lovely bride is one of our local celebrities (news anchor) and her heart for helping others in front of the TV Camera, easily transitioned into her wedding planning process as well. Jennifer shares a little bit about the ways her BIG day gave back below: 2015-06-25_0002 ‘While working with Fox 13, I had heard about the work Brides Against Breast Cancer did in the community. I was familiar with the organization’s mission and was blown away by all the work they do. My mom is a breast cancer survivor and anytime I can honor her journey, I do. I thought it was a great way to help out an amazing charity and get the dress of my dreams. How often do you get the opportunity to find your dream wedding dress, at a discount, and have the money go towards an amazing organization?’ 2015-06-25_0001 2015-06-25_0003 2015-06-25_0004 ‘Jeremy and I are both animal lovers and our rescue pups, Kote Boz and Otis, are members of our family. So it felt right to include them in our wedding. They both spent the morning with my bridesmaids and me while we got ready. In fact, Kote (the one with the white fur) had a great time getting extra love and cuddles from my bridesmaid Krissie. It was such a sweet moment when the boys trotted down the aisle in their little tuxedos. I devote my time to the Humane Society and other rescue organizations by bringing awareness to the fact that there are many animals in the Tampa Bay area that need loving homes. I emcee fundraising events like Bark in the Park and Tux’s and Tails and whenever I can, I bring attention to rescue organizations and their amazing efforts on the show (Good Day Tampa Bay). It’s important to educate our audience on the wonders of pet adoption. I’d never had a dog before but I when I met Kote, I knew I wanted to give him a home. He’s been my best friend and along with our energetic, playful Otis, our family feels complete. 2015-06-25_0005 2015-06-25_0006 2015-06-25_0007 ‘As a certified wish grantor for the Make a Wish FoundationI’ve had the privilege of meeting with children to help them figure out their biggest wishes; things like a visit to Disney World, a shopping trip in New York or the latest gadget. It’s wonderful to bring joy to a child who is dealing with so much and be part of their happy moments. I also assist when a child from out of town visits the Tampa area for their wish. I help other wish grantors present wishes, we help get donations and the items needed to grant the wishes. For the past five years, I’ve been involved in various aspects of the organization from presenting to helping make the special moment a reality.’ 2015-06-25_0008Wheels of SuccessPayton Wright Foundation and Feeding America are other local organizations I work with and offer support for their fundraising activities and events or whatever might be needed.’ 2015-06-25_0009 ‘Jeremy volunteers at Health Care Connections while he completes his degree in mental health counseling and social work. He’s very active in serving our community as a one-on-one mentor for those that need guidance and support.’ 2015-06-25_0010 2015-06-25_0011 2015-06-25_0012 2015-06-25_0013 11665991_10204643916038842_1835622912_o 2015-06-25_0015 2015-06-25_0016 2015-06-25_0017 2015-06-25_0018 2015-06-25_0019 11660152_10204643966760110_1750012725_o 2015-06-25_0021 11701454_10204644050082193_554393415_o 11664905_10204644069562680_2120693557_o 2015-06-25_0024 Photographer:   Rising Lotus Photography//Dress Store:Alfred Angelo//Jewelry: Betsey Johnson//Dress Store: Brides Against Breast Cancer //Linens and Coverings:Fancy that Specialty Linens LLC//Bakery: Hands on Sweets//Restaurant: Jackson’s Bistro//Dress Designer:Martina Liana//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Men’s Wearhouse//DJ: Music On The Move DJs//Event Planner:The Day of Events, Inc.//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Vera Wang//Caterer: Westin Tampa Harbour Island Hotel/