TAMPA, Fla. — Volunteers with Metropolitan Ministries are spending their Thanksgiving offering a hot meal and hope.

On Thanksgiving Day, they prepared enough food to serve 2,700 meals. More than 10,000 meals were served Thanksgiving week.

Just how much food does it take to feed that many people?

  • 2,750 lbs. of turkey
  • 1,800 lbs. of mashed potatoes
  • 1,600 lbs. of vegetables
  • 100 gallons of gravy
  • 800 lbs. of stuffing
  • 560 pies/dessert

It takes more than 20,000 volunteers to make it all happen.

Seventeen-year-old Mia Desanjorge volunteers all year long.

She works the donor line, where people drop off donated food items.

"I go up to the car and I get all their information, then you take the donations from the trunk of the car into the cart and after that we weigh it," explained Desanjorge.

"Then we roll it over here, we put all the stuff into the bins and then it gets sorted and boxed up to be sent to the families in need”

Mia knows firsthand what some of these families are experiencing.

"My mom didn’t have a house, she was dealing with not having a job at the time so we went from Grandma’s house to hotel to motel and I do feel I can relate to a lot of the people and families here,” shared the teen.

Once the family got back on its feet, it was decided together, to give back to an organization that helped families like theirs

"My motivation is making a difference," said Desanjorge.

President and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries, Tim Marks says he's touched by Mia's passion to make a difference to getting food into our underserved communities.

"We’re trying to help families become self-sufficient, she’s an example of that, highly-educated already in college at a young age, she’s finding ways to give back and ways to make a difference in Met Min and we are so blessed," said Marks.

"What we do here is because the community believes in us and supports us, nothing good happens at Metropolitan Ministries without the community’s support."

Mia is an inspiration at Metropolitan Ministries and in her personal life.

"I go to the University of South Florida., my major is Behavioral Healthcare," said Desanjorge.

The 17-year-old college student graduated from high school early and wants to work at Metropolitan Ministries.

"I hope to be a case manager for families experiences homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless," said Desanjorge.

She says, of course, she will continue to volunteer.

"I want to help my community and I want to make a change," said Desanjorge.

Metropolitan Ministries says the power of these traditional Thanksgiving meals is provided by generous community donations. Along with the hot meals served Thanksgiving Day, thousands of food boxes and frozen turkeys are distributed.


9 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Metro BrigAIDe Community Meal Outreach  

(grab and go hot meals, gratitude board, greeting cards)

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

509 E Twiggs St., Tampa, 33602