TAMPA BAY - With an eye toward helping make fresh produce more widely available to food-insecure communities around Tampa, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chase are teaming up with Feeding Tampa Bay for the third-consecutive preseason to host a fresh produce drive prior to the Bolts' preseason home game against the Nashville Predators at AMALIE Arena on Saturday night. Thanks to the generous donations from Lightning fans during last year's fresh produce drive at AMALIE Arena, the organizations were able to raise more than 1,600 pounds of food and collect around $1,900 in monetary donations, which provided more than 20,190 meals. The goal this year is to surpass last year's numbers and meals.
Fans who are interested in supporting access to fresh food and healthy eating can bring in apples, oranges, carrots, potatoes, peppers, onions and other bagged produce to the Feeding Tampa Bay truck, donated by Chase, on Ford Thunder Alley prior to the game. As a thank you for their support, donating fans will be given a ticket to the game or a t-shirt.
"Joining forces to help our community become stronger is what our partnership is about," said Mike Gray, market director for Chase branches in the greater Tampa Bay area. "We are proud of all the volunteers and fans who are working together to help make this food drive a success for the third year in a row."
Last year, Feeding Tampa Bay delivered 48 million pounds of food into the community, enough for 40 million meals. One in seven adults and one in four children in the Tampa Bay area faces hunger. Every dollar donated to Feeding Tampa Bay provides 10 meals.
Chase is a proud community partner of the Lightning. Together, the organizations support a variety of community initiatives including street hockey clinics for kids in underserved neighborhoods, military support through awarding of mortgage-free homes to military veterans and recognition of outstanding educators, as part of programs to provide access to sports and science for youth and recognize those making a difference in the team's hometown.