One of the greatest joys of the merger with Feeding Tampa Bay has been the opportunity to lift all of our staff to a new level.

Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of you.

It has been inspiring and joyous to see the smiles on our kitchen staff’s faces when they realize that with an increase to their salary to $13/hour that they will be able to afford healthcare and dental care.

Our blended family, as we shared the merger with Feeding Tampa Bay, celebrated in a way that shows we are an intentional community, with laughter, food and lots of smiles. We believe no one should go hungry, and certainly not our own staff.

Trinity Cafe will join Feeding Tampa Bay officially on January 1, 2019, becoming one big blended family!

Not one on our team will lose a job. Feeding Tampa Bay is honoring our original dates of hire for seniority as well as our current pay rate. Feeding Tampa Bay has a commitment to a living wage, and many of our kitchen crew are receiving salary increases to $13/hour. Our employees will benefit from a more affordable health care package and generous benefits including paid time off, holidays and more. This was such good news to deliver and share with our team!

We are also gaining amazing, talented colleagues who are committed to fighting hunger! Our family table is getting much bigger, and we couldn’t be more excited, inspired and overjoyed to create a purpose driven, blended family with Feeding Tampa Bay!

As one of our team shared, “It all sounds so good! What are we missing?”

Let’s not forget the purpose and the reason for our work, to ensure that no one goes hungry! By taking care of our staff, we ensure that they do not need to access our meal for their future needs.

My colleague Byron shared his powerful story last year. He relied on us for a season to meet his daily needs. Once he found meaningful employment with the cafe after first serving as a volunteer, it enabled him to care for his own financial needs, and now he extends his own table and advocates for those in need.

Byron was having dinner one evening at Burger King. A mom and her four children, who often have meals at Trinity Cafe, were walking by when the children saw Byron and dashed inside. They begged to share his food saying they were starved. He purchased meals for them. He said, “Those little kids were stuffing the food in their mouths as fast as they could; it broke my heart to think they are this hungry every night.”  This inspired us to do more.

Now we send children home with a take-home meal. In the future, a family will not only be able to access a delicious meal around our table, but also groceries for tomorrow, perhaps take-home meals to heat and eat at home, and access to benefits and employment training to help provide meals in the future. Food for today, food for tomorrow, food for a lifetime.

We will continue to do more together.
Let’s keep extending the table to more families, lifting them up.

By Mandy Cloninger, Executive Director, Trinity Cafe