Tampa’s Metropolitan Ministries kicks off holiday tent

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at Metropolitan Ministries' Tent Blessing

Tampa, FL (WFLA) – Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined members of the community Wednesday morning for this year’s Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent Blessing.  The tent is located at 400 West Palm Avenue in Tampa.tent2

The Tent Blessing signaled Metropolitan Ministries’ Thanksgiving and Christmas season with  a prayer for the entire community. The Tent is a place where those in need, volunteers and donors come in contact with and bless each other. It represents the “offering of the first fruits” – new donations to the Tent. Prayer for the multiplication of gifts (food, toys, monetary) and that there may be more than enough to serve all those in need.

The first day of distribution for those families and individuals who have signed up food assistance is Thursday. The tent is open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

They tell us their biggest need is turkeys. “Because of a bird flu that destroyed many flocks of turkeys, there is a turkey shortage this year. Most people won’t see it at the grocery store, but we are seeing it in the bulk rates, which are about twice as much as rates that most consumers will find at their local grocery store. Other items we need include yams, stuffing and cereal. This year we expect so serve approximately 20,000 meals between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” they said.

Two major food raising events they have coming up are the Helping Hands Food Drive in the parking lot of the Westshore Mall by Sears on Friday from 6-10 a.m. and the Fishing for Hope event Saturday in which the local fishing community is gathering at the Holiday Tent for a food drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The goal for the day is to “sink” the boat that will be on hand with donated items.

Their monetary goal for the season is $50,000 and this is coming through our Giving Tuesday campaign. Here is a little bit of info on what that is: http://www.metromin.org/blog/givingtuesday.html On Giving Tuesday we have a unique opportunity through the Empty Plate Challenge in which we are looking to clear a table full of 2,500 plates every hour. Those plates symbolize the 2,500 meals we serve on a daily basis.



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