TAMPA, Fla. — For months now, there has been a big focus on the thousands of families struggling during this pandemic, and food pantries and non-profits are getting hit hard, too, struggling to meet the demand. 

This holiday season, Metropolitan Ministries is expecting its biggest challenge in its 48-year history, and they’re asking for the community’s help. 

What You Need To Know

“We're continuing to see families in crisis.  Many families are still limited, or have had hours reduced, many in the hospitality industry are still struggling, and so we are still seeing families needing our help for the very first time,” said Tim Marks, President and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries. 

Marks said there’s been an unprecedented need over the last 33 weeks, and this holiday season they expect to serve nearly double the number of families than last year. 

Registration for help starts Wednesday and will be all online because of COVID. Pick will also be contactless, and volunteers will wear masks and be screened each day. 

Marks said they’re relying solely on the community this year since many corporations aren’t doing their usual food drives and group volunteering because of the pandemic. He said you can help by hosting your own food drive, or volunteering your time. 

“We really need individuals, and families who can care for their family this Thanksgiving, and maybe care for one more.  If everyone does a little bit this Thanksgiving, we'll get this worked out,” said Marks. 

Metropolitan Ministries will open the donation tent in Tampa on Monday. It will also be contactless this year. Client and donors will stay in their cars for drop off and pick up.