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Manatee County's "Stuff the Bus" Campaign Collects Over 47,000 Pounds of Food!

Publix shoppers had the opportunity to “Stuff the Bus” with non-perishable items on November 21st and 22nd as part of a county-wide call-to-action to help feed the community.

The School Board of Manatee County, Publix Super Markets and the United Way of Manatee County teamed up to host this event. County school buses were parked in front of every Publix location in Manatee County to collect the items throughout the weekend.

Publix shoppers, along with the general public, donated food items such as canned goods, boxed cereal, baby food and other household items like paper products, and laundry detergents. Publix stores ran great deals and savings throughout their stores that encouraged shoppers to donate.

By the end of the evening on Sunday 22nd, volunteers gathered to “un-stuff” the buses, unloading more than 47,000 pounds of food. All the items collected during the “Stuff the Bus” Campaign benefited the Food Bank of Manatee. With a contribution of this magnitude, the Food Bank will be able to feed 37,072 needy individuals.

The Food Bank, of Manatee distributes food items to more than 100 local agencies in Manatee County. A recent survey of these agencies showed that approximately 65,000 individuals are receiving food assistance through its network. The Food Bank of Manatee is owned and operated by Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, a partner agency of the United Way.

The need to help the community is greater than ever, and the help from this campaign will have a great impact for those in need. Both Publix and the School Board are strong supporters of the United Way of Manatee County. Publix Super Markets is United Way’s top contributor, donating more than $600,000 in 2008, and School Board contributions exceeded $100,000.

If someone would prefer to make a monetary donation, checks may be made out to the United Way of Manatee County or they can visit www.uwmc.net to make a donation online.

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