One Bay area organization is already getting a head start for Hurricane Season 2018.

  • Meals on Wheels Tampa hosted 5K and music festival
  • Goal was to raise money for hurricane kits for seniors
  • The kits would include 5 non-perishable meals, water, flashlights

Meals on Wheels Tampa will be providing hurricane kits to the nearly 1,000 seniors they service on a daily basis.

To raise money for the kits, the organization’s high school leadership board hosted the inaugural 5K race and music festival in downtown Tampa on Saturday.

The kits will help residents like Frances Kelly who looks forward to the friendly smiles and hot meals that greet her at her Tampa home.

“I’m 82 years old, and when you’re on a fixed income whether you worked or not, it helps you a lot financially,” Kelly said.

Like many Bay area residents, Kelly remembers last year’s Hurricane Irma like it was yesterday. Homes were damaged and power was knocked out for weeks. Frances said her friends from Meals on Wheels helped her ride out the storm.

“We got sandbags but I also had the hurricane package that meals on wheels delivered,” Kelly said.

The new hurricane kits will include five non-perishable meals, water, flashlights, and a radio.

“I know how difficult it must have been for the many, many we serve," said Stephen King, the executive director of Meals on Wheels Tampa. "They had no connection with the outside world.”  

King said volunteers were able to stop by and check on residents after the storm but they want to provide support during the worst of it.

“When a storm comes, they can’t just hop in their cars and get out of town, they have to ride it out so we want to be there for them,” he said.

Meals on Wheels has been helping Tampa seniors since 1975. Organizers hope to make the 5k an annual tradition. For more information about the organization, visit