Building Wholesome Communities in Tampa Bay, FL

Building Wholesome Communities in Tampa Bay, FL

Success Story

Building Wholesome Communities in Tampa Bay, FL

April 23, 2019
Neida Receiving Her Wholesome Wave Rewards Card with Feeding Tampa Bay Representative
Neida Receiving Her Wholesome Wave Card

At the end of 2018, we launched a program in partnership with Humana Foundation and Feeding Tampa Bay to reach more than 2000 seniors 60 years and older with a $15 reloadable gift card to purchase healthy fruits and vegetables. In early April, we reached the program milestone of successfully registering all 2000+ participants—distributing more than $30,000 worth of ‘produce purchasing power.’ By the end of the program, we’ll have delivered nearly $250,000!

The overall goal of this eight-month program is to alleviate food-insecurity among participants by giving them the resources needed to afford fruits and vegetables. Cards are reloaded each month to empower people with the right to choose produce when they shop.  

19% of Tampa Bay’s food-insecure population are seniors struggling with hunger. 

Seniors participating will also receive a helpful nutrition education booklet written by a licensed dietician that includes descriptions of a variety of fruits and vegetables and provides serving sizes that build a healthier diet. Wholesome Wave also has the ability to communicate with participants via text to encourage them to use their cards and remind them when their cards are reloaded.

This program is a game changer for seniors like Neida (pictured above), who said, "This is going to be an excellent program for me and the seniors here at [our retirement community]. Thank you for coming here for us." 

Studies have shown food insecure seniors are 2.33 times more likely to be in fair or poor health.

We’ve already received some touching feedback from the seniors affected by the program, including a woman who was so excited that she could finally buy her favorite fruit! Prior to having the card, she was physically unable to cut a whole pineapple and couldn’t afford pre-cut pineapple, but now that she has the card she can! 

Another happy participant was so excited that he could shift his budget to include meat, a “luxury” he had to previously sacrifice with his fixed-income budget. 

None of this progress would be possible without our generous funding partner, Humana Foundation, or our incredible on-the-ground partners, Feeding Tampa Bay. Thomas Mantz, Executive Director from Feeding Tampa Bay commented on the impact this program has on the Tampa Bay area,

“Creating healthier communities is one of Feeding Tampa Bay's main objectives. We know that many seniors in our community face difficult decisions like whether to buy medicine or nutritious foods because they cannot afford both. This partnership minimized these tough choices and brought our neighbors closer to better health and well-being”