TAMPA, Fla. — One Hillsborough County School District administrator is stepping up to help foster families after many went without last week when trying to get free meals.
Superintendent Addison Davis said district leaders discovered at least 50 people going to multiple food distribution sites. Some then turned around and tried selling the food on social media.
Many food distribution sites ran out of food last week, leaving families struggling.
“It was kind of disheartening, you know?” said Eric Turner, assistant vice principal at Rampello K-8 in Downtown Tampa. “There are always going to be people who unfortunately take advantage of situations when everyone is in a panic.”
When Turner heard about what happened, he connected with the Heart Gallery of Tampa and Eckerd Connects to help ensure foster families in particular had access to free meals during the once a week pickup.
Now, Rampello K-8, that didn’t have huge numbers of meal pickups in the past few weeks, can be a designated place for foster families to get their weekly box food. The idea is to guarantee those families that they will have enough to last the week.
“We just want all the families to know that we’re here to help out, and if you are stuck in a problem, and you might need some help, communication is huge thing,” Turner said. “Just let us know.”
Grab-and-go meals in Hillsborough County Schools are available on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at more than 140 food distribution sites. All students get a weeks worth of food, free of charge.
For parents picking up, please bring your child’s student number.
If your child is not of school age or is outside the school district, you will be asked to provide their name and date of birth.