The Tampa Bay Lightning made headlines this year during an impressive 2015 season in which they broke franchise records and asserted themselves as one of the NHL’s up and coming elite. While their accomplishments on the ice made the Lightning a household name, their philanthropic endeavors outside of the arena are bringing the team to the forefront in a way that extends far beyond the world of hockey.
In partnership with Laser Spine Institute, the Tampa Bay Lightning have joined Feeding America Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Ministries to reduce food insecurity in the Tampa community through the Give & Grub food truck – a unique way to spread awareness about hunger in the community. The truck travels across the greater Tampa Bay area selling gourmet food with a purpose; for each meal sold, Laser Spine Institute will donate a meal to a hungry child in the community.
The distressing statistics on hunger in the Tampa community reveal that food insecurity isn’t just an issue, it’s an epidemic. According to Feeding America Tampa Bay, there are an estimated 700,000 people in West Central Florida struggling with hunger, and 250,000 of those people are children – that’s one out of every four children in the community. The collective goal of the food truck project is to give back 150,000 meals to those local children who need it most.
The Lightning were an ideal partner for the program due to their incredible commitment to giving back to members of their community, annually contributing more than 45,000 volunteer hours and supporting nearly 50 charitable organizations.
The Give & Grub food truck has a gourmet menu named after Lightning personnel and inspired by their favorite foods. For just $9 per meal, customers get hefty size portions of items like Cooper’s Candied Burger, named after Coach Jon Cooper, and the Chicken Parmkos Sandwich, paying homage to team Captain Steven Stamkos. The truck makes appearances at local events and during the lunch hour at regional office parks.
For those interested in joining the Tampa Bay Lightning and Laser Spine Institute in their mission to ”Stick it to Hunger,” visit the Give & Grub website to find out where you can find the truck next. You can also share the hashtag #GiveAndGrub on your social media platform and they’ll donate an additional meal to a family in need!