Mayor Jane Castor and volunteers get ready to deliver holiday gift baskets to families.
Special delivery from Tampa’s “North Pole!" The City of Tampa delivered holiday gift baskets to more than 150 Tampa families today to help make the season extra special.
For the past several weeks, City departments have collected non-perishable food items, grocery store gift cards, and other holiday gifts to donate to families in need.
The goal for each box was to collect items that would be included in a traditional holiday meal, in addition to household staples. The shopping list of non-perishables included soups, green beans and peas, pancake mix, cookies, cake mix, yams, corn, turkey gravy, stuffing and more.
Once all the items were collected, City of Tampa “elves” volunteered their time to work diligently at the “North Pole” (aka the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center) to assemble the boxes with care.
Each City of Tampa holiday gift basket contains food and a gift card for a holiday meal.
In total, the City donated $6,000 in grocery store gift cards and was able to collect enough gift box items for 153 families. The City was also able to donate 2,205 lbs of additional food to Metropolitan Ministries.
Mayor Jane Castor made some special deliveries of her own, surprising three families with holiday gift baskets.
“The generosity we see year after year through this program is truly heartwarming,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “No one should go without during the holidays, and thanks to the generosity of our City of Tampa employees, more than 150 families will get to enjoy a complete holiday meal this year. To be able to provide the gift certificates, the food and gifts to many families really warms my heart.”