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Hockey Season Starts with Hope for Hungry Families

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

In Central Florida alone, there are 700,000 people struggling with hunger, and 250,000 are children. In a collective effort to check hunger in the area, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced today a new partnership initiative with The Mosaic Company. Benefiting Feeding America Tampa Bay and other local food bank partners, the Goals for Food initiative will connect the success of the Lightning team to feeding hungry families across the region.

During a press conference held at the FATB warehouse, representatives from the Lightning, Mosaic and local hunger-relief organizations explained the details of the Goals for Food initiative. For every goal scored by the Lightning during home games, Mosaic will donate $500 and for every hat trick scored, Mosaic will donate $5,000 to Feeding America Tampa Bay and other regional food bank partners. These include Meals on Wheels of Tampa, the Florida Association of Food Banks and the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers, the Hardee Help Center in Wauchula, ECHO in Brandon, All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee and Our Daily Bread in Bradenton, VISTE in Lakeland, the Mulberry Community Center in Mulberry, and Cutting Edge Ministries in Zolfo Springs.

“This new partnership with Mosaic directly aligns with one of our most important business goals: to collaborate with other highly community-minded businesses that can make a difference for the people of Tampa Bay and West Central Florida,” said Jeff Vinik, chairman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It’s inspiring to be part of an effort like ‘Goals for Food’ that will take advantage of our team’s success on the ice to serve such a critical need in our community off the ice.”

The incentive-based initiative is expected to provide thousands of meals and resources for families in need.

“As Mosaic works to help grow the food the world needs, valuable partnerships such as Goals for Food with the Lightning ensure that essential food reaches the tables of those in need,” said Karen Swager, Mosaic Vice President, Phosphate Mining Operations. “Ending hunger truly requires teamwork, and we are extremely proud to work with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Feeding America Tampa Bay and local food banks to make a difference in the communities where we live and work.”

Mosaic highlighted its focus on developing innovative partnerships that fight hunger locally as well as strengthen global food security.

The Feeding America warehouse provided a powerful setting for the announcement. Amidst hundreds of thousands of pounds of food that will feed hungry families in the area, FATB Executive Director Thomas Mantz, shared his thoughts on the Goals for Food initiative.

“Localized hunger is often hard to imagine, and many people take the simple act of eating a meal for granted,” said Mantz. “Through the support of organizations like the Lightning and Mosaic, we are able to help the one in six people in Central Florida who don’t know where or when they will get their next meal.”

Throughout the announcement, a consistent message from all involved was that everyone can help fight hunger. For example, a $1 donation can provide seven full meals. People interested in making a donation or learning more about hunger-related issues in the Tampa Bay area can visit the Feeding America Tampa Bay website.

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