HISTORY

History of Feed the Bay

Started by Bay Life Church, Brandon, in 2006, their people left church early on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and, with preprinted grocery lists in hand, headed to designated grocery stores to purchase items for local food banks.  Trucks parked outside the stores served as collection sites.  One after another, members of the congregation brought cart after cart full of food to the trucks.  Children were with their parents, unloading bag after bag as active participants in the gift.  Store employees were convinced that their absent coworkers wouldn’t believe them, so they took pictures of uncharacteristically long lines formed with cheerful people to share the story.  All told, they collected 30,000 pounds of food that day.  The food was then delivered to local charitable organization’s to stock their shelves. In 2007, we collected 33,000 pounds of food.
 

In 2008, there were 15 local churches and 12 food agencies collected approximately 189,000 pounds of food.

In 2009, there were 33 local churches and 13 food agencies collected approximately 316,500 pounds of food and store gift cards.

In 2010, there were 35 churches and 13 local food agencies that collected approximately 131,600 pounds of food and store gift cards.

In 2011, there were 33 local churches and 11 food agencies that collected approximately 138,193 pounds of food and store gift cards.

In 2012, there were 38 local churches and 15 food agencies that collected approximately 180,908 pounds of food and store gifts cards.

In 2013, there were 32 local churches and 17 food agencies that collected approximately 160,049 pounds of food and store gifts cards.

In 2014, there were 32 local churches and 17 food agencies that collected approximately 161,264 pounds of food and store gift cards.

In 2015, there were 33 local churches and 16 food agencies that collected approximately 156,152 pounds of food and store gift cards. 

In 2016, there were 37 local churches and 14 food agencies that collected approximately 165,693 pounds of food and store gift cards.


In 10 years of Feed the Bay events,  approximately 1,662,359 pounds of food have been collected and distributed back into our community’s food agencies.

FAQs

What is Feed the Bay?

Feed the Bay is a coordinated community outreach uniting churches throughout the Greater Tampa Bay Area along with Publix Super Markets, designed to stock the shelves of participating food pantries on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

What is the Purpose of Feed the Bay?

For the community and church to come together as one body of Christ and fill the food pantries in the participating county for four to six months. Our goal is to collect 180,000 pounds of food for the pantries.

When is Feed the Bay?

Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 9:00 am 2:00 pm

How does Feed the Bay work?

  1. On Sunday, March 26, each church congregation will be given a grocery list at their worship services. Leaders of each church will challenge their congregation to leave church and go shop at participating Publix Super Markets or other stores closest to their home between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for the benefit of those in need in our communities.

  2. Shoppers and their families take the list to a grocery store to purchase whatever items they choose to buy.

  1. After shopping, they drop their purchase off to volunteers located at semi-trucks parked in lots right outside the participating stores. Volunteers then load the food on the trucks.

  2. At 2:30 pm drivers will take the trucks and head to each of the food pantries.

  3. Once at the food pantry site church volunteers, working alongside agency volunteers and staff, will unload and sort the donated items.

How can I participate if I’m not in town that week?

You can participate by purchasing gift cards from any grocery story or supermarket and drop them off at the church office or Information Center between now and March 26. If you choose to participate by donating cash, please place cash or check (made payable to Bay Life Church) in a tithe envelope and clearly mark it FEED THE BAY. These can also be dropped off at the church or Information Center between now and March 26.

How is Publix Super Markets partnering with Feed the Bay?

Publix Super Market is our participating partner in this event. They will provide easy access to all food items on the shopping list along with comparable pricing. Publix has also donated semi-trailers and drivers to help with delivery to the food pantries.

How did Feed the Bay become a reality?

Feed the Bay was started by Bay Life Church, in 2006. The event worked the same way as this year’s event, except now there are over 34 churches, 14 Agencies, and 15 stores participating.

The vision for a community effort came into being and has quickly grown into community support for one another. Local business and churches of Brandon, and Tampa Florida come together to shop, collect and supply for the community agencies. Now, ten years later, area churches throughout the county are united as one body the body of Christ with conjoined efforts to Feed the Bay.