With an eye toward helping make fresh produce more widely available to food-insecure communities around Tampa, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chase teamed up with Feeding Tampa Bay for the second consecutive preseason to host a fresh produce drive prior to the Bolts' preseason home game against the Dallas Stars at Amalie Arena on Thursday night. The goal was to collect enough donations to provide more than 10,000 meals for local families. Thanks to the generous donations from Lightning Fans, the organizations were able to double the goal and raise more than 1,600 pounds of food and collected around $1,900 in monetary donations, which will provide more than 20,190 meals.
Fans who were interested in supporting access to fresh food and healthy eating brought 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, more than 800 fans were given tickets to the contest as well as t-shirts.
"Joining forces to help our community become stronger is what our partnership is about. We are proud of all the volunteers and fans who together helped this food drive be a success.”
said Mike Gray, head of branches for Chase in the Greater Tampa Bay area.
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.