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Laser Spine Institute's Give and Grub food truck celebrates first milestone

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Laser Spine Institute, the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, is hosting its first community giveback event with its Give & Grub food truck in partnership with the Zonta Boys & Girls Club on Friday, Oct.17. The neighborhood event – which is expected to draw about 60 children – is part of Laser Spine Institute’s giveback program, which includes weekly events hosted in communities of need.

Laser Spine Institute announced this new movement aimed at fighting food insecurity on Oct. 2 during a launch event held in Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa. Supported by an integrative partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Laser Spine Institute will donate a meal to a hungry child in the area for every meal sold on its food truck. The company will also donate a meal each time #GiveAndGrub is used on social media.

Over the course of the next 12 months, the goal of the project is to give back 150,000 meals to local children in need.

“We are thrilled to host our first giveback event with the Zonta Boys & Girls Club,” said Dotty Bollinger, President and Chief Operating Officer, Laser Spine Institute. “The community response to the Give & Grub initiative has been overwhelming and it’s been inspiring to see how Tampa Bay has embraced this cause. The giveback events are a fun and exciting way to share information on health and wellness with kids and families, while giving back to the community we call home.”

The mission’s #GiveAndGrub hashtag has trended throughout the Tampa Bay area as it has been used more than 700 times across various social media platforms since the unveiling. In less than a week of sales, the Give & Grub food truck has sold more than 320 meals at a variety of local events, including outside Amalie Arena before Lightning games and outside local office parks. Combined, those efforts equate to more than 1,000 meals that will be given back to children in the Tampa Bay area.

A pair of champions in the community that have served Tampa Bay’s hungry and hurting families for years, Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding America Tampa Bay, are project partners in supporting the giveback projects of the initiative. According to Feeding America Tampa Bay, one in four children go hungry on a daily basis.

“There is no greater imperative in our society than the welfare of our children, and fundamental to their wellbeing is the access to nutritious food,” said Thomas Mantz, Executive Director, Feeding America Tampa Bay. “It is because of our passion for this issue that we are thrilled to partner with Laser Spine Institute on the Give & Grub program. What a fabulous way to bring not only thousands of healthy, nutritious meals to kids, but the awareness about childhood hunger. One meal sold, one meal given, one child fed.”

For more information on the Give & Grub food truck, the giveback program, and to see where it’s headed next, visit http://www.giveandgrub.com.

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