TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning's food and beverage partner at AMALIE Arena, Delaware North Corporation, which provides concessions, suites, premium dining and catering service to all events, announced today its milestone of 100,000 meals prepared and supplied to Feeding Tampa Bay to help those with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since April 9, Lightning executive chef Waylon Nelson and his team have been cooking in an AMALIE Arena kitchen prepping 1,000 meals per day. They quickly ramped up to producing 2,000 meals a day, equaling 10,000 a week for Feeding Tampa Bay and its efforts in the fight against hunger in the Bay Area. There are usually six to eight people working inside the kitchen
"It has been a true honor and privilege for me and the team to be able to participate and give back during this time of great need in the community," said Nelson. "We all thank Jeff Vinik for his generosity to enable us to perform such a great task."
The meals are being delivered to those who cannot leave their homes and don't have the ability or resources to get to a grocery store. Some meals are also being sent to various food drives so Feeding Tampa Bay can distribute the emergency food across their 10-county region.
"We have seen a significant increase in need and a proportionate increase in barriers to accessing food since the pandemic began," says Thomas Mantz, President & CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay. "Our long-standing partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning opened the door to a mutually beneficial solution during uncertain times. Utilizing the incredible talent of Chef Waylon and his team has not only helped Feeding Tampa Bay answer this need but has given thousands of individuals and families comfort and hope that this community will persevere together."
Additionally, in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, every Wednesday the Yuengling Center will be the site of a weekly mega-pantry starting July 15 and running through August 12. Increased food assistance brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the creation of mega-pantries, which allows thousands of families to safely drive through and collect fresh groceries for the week. Distribution begins at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m., or until all food is distributed.
Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the national Feeding America network, focuses on providing food to the hundreds of thousands of food insecure families in the 10-county area of West Central Florida. If you need food support, would like to volunteer or donate to Feeding Tampa Bay, visit feedingtampabay.org.