Food Insecurity In Our Community
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Food for Thought:
Thousands in Tampa Bay face food insecurity
Many of Trinity Cafe’s guests are homeless and jobless. But the food insecure have quickly become a segment of the population who find themselves at our door – often running out of money before the end of the month to feed themselves and their families. Women, children, the elderly, and physically and mentally challenged individuals comprise many of the multitudes we serve. Their stomachs are empty, and they are eager to receive a nourishing meal – for many the only food they will eat all day.
One in six people in our region don’t know where their next meal will come from. Many at risk children won’t eat between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast provided at school.
Each day, Trinity Cafe addresses the nutritional needs of the hungry and homeless of Tampa Bay by serving a well-balanced, restaurant quality meal. It is served with unconditional respect and a sense of dignity. Nutrition is critical to the well-being of those facing “Food Insecurity” in our community. We strive to ensure no one goes away hungry.
Meet Desiree –
A tent in a wooded camp behind the Skatepark of Tampa is home for Desiree. For a little while longer, she says, until she can get her feet back on the ground.
Pretty and petite with bright green eyes, Desiree never imagined as a young girl that her view every morning would be a trash-strewn path, her bed: a damp shared mattress on the ground.
“I was a cheerleader,” she said. “I had a scholarship to go to Indiana University.”
After a pain-med prescription became a dangerous addiction, Desiree spiraled out of control. She lost everything, including her daughter, now nine. Desiree sees her every other weekend. “My parents are taking care of her right now,” she said. “She’s really good at roller-skating and swimming, so that’s what we do when we’re together.” They talk on the phone almost every night.
Now 34, Desiree goes to a methadone clinic every morning and spends her afternoons trying to find money and a job. She’s been clean for three years, but it’s hard to find work without basics like clothes and a reliable phone.
“I just need a little door to open up for me, and then I’ll be OK.”
Trinity Cafe has been a lifesaver – usually the only meal she knows she can count on, if she can make it there in time.