Third Location Announced in Hardee County
The Mosaic Company and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced the opening of the third food pantry location will be in Hardee County, expanding support to communities most in need. The food pantry will be hosted at Bowling Green Elementary School in Bowling Green, Florida.
“Mosaic is proud to be a neighbor in Hardee County, but understand it is not only our privilege, but our responsibility to help uplift our community where we can,” said Heather Nedley, The Mosaic Company, Director of Government and Public Affairs. “An important aspect of this partnership is to reduce food deserts in our communities.”
The Tackling Hunger fueled by Mosaic partnership with the Buccaneers enables Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the Feeding America network, to build and manage school pantries in areas of need. This new pantry will help support the nearly 300 students and their families who attend the school.
“We are honored to be part of this partnership, where our families will have easier and direct access to nutritional food that is critical for students to thrive. Mosaic has been a long-standing partner in our community, and we are all Bucs fans here- so we couldn’t be more thankful to them and Feeding Tampa Bay for this resource,” said Stuart Durastanti, Bowling Green Elementary, Principal.
Located in Central Florida, Bowling Green is a diverse community within Hardee County with a large Hispanic population. An estimated 17% of children in Hardee County are considered food insecure and 78% income eligible for federal nutrition programs (incomes at or below 185% of poverty*).
The partnership, which was announced in 2021, is inspired by Mosaic’s mission and passion to address food insecurity, and the Buccaneers’ extensive community platform to drive social change and empower youth. Entering into the third year, the partnership has provided more than 200,000 meals through donations and pantry access and helped support more than 1,600 families through the initial two pantry locations.
“Our organization has witnessed the impact our partnership with Mosaic has made for children and families within the Tampa Bay area over the last two years,” said Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chief Impact Officer Vicky Free Sistrunk. “We are excited to expand our impact in the area of food insecurity as we open the next food pantry in Hardee County.”
This partnership is an expansion of Mosaic’s long-term collaboration with Feeding Tampa Bay. Since 2010, Mosaic has donated nearly $1,420,000 toward hunger relief in Tampa Bay through the partnership, including weekend backpacks for children, mobile food pantry expansion, warehouse improvements, and purchasing much needed equipment including vehicles, among other capital expenses.
Across the globe in 2022, Mosaic, The Mosaic Company Foundation, and The Mosaic Institute in Brazil donated more than $15 million toward community investments, including nearly $6 million supporting food programs around the world.
*2021 Map the Meal Gap Feeding America study. Photos courtesy of Feeding Tampa Bay and Tampa Bay Buccaneers