Zach Bonner, Feeding America Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Ministries collaborate to raise 1 million pounds in 24 hours
(October 14, 2014 Tampa, FL.) When he was only 6 years old, Zachary Bonner started doing community service in 2004 after Hurricane Charlie hit Florida. In 2005 he formed the Little Red Wagon Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to help under privileged kids with a focus on homeless youth.
To raise awareness of the plight of homeless youth, Zach walked over 4,200 miles from Tampa to Tallahassee, Tallahassee to Atlanta, Atlanta to Washington, DC, and finally the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Now at age 16, Zach is taking on the Guinness Book of World Records to coordinate the World’s Largest Food Drive: Food for A Million. This will mean a million pounds of food for a million needy people in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding counties.
On November 7, three Tampa Bay hunger-relief organizations will go after the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Food Drive in 24 Hours at a Single Location.” Zach Bonner, Feeding America Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Ministries hope to collect 1 million pounds of food – nearly double the previous record of 559,885 pounds raised by a school in Durham, North Carolina.
The “Food for A Million Food Drive” will take place at Metropolitan Ministries’ holiday tent (400 West Palm Avenue- Tampa) from noon, Nov. 7 to noon, Nov. 8. Participants are encouraged to bring nonperishable foods to the drive – no perishable items, glass containers or bottled water will be accepted – or donate ahead of time at www.FoodforaMillion.org.
“I believe we all have a chance to make a difference when it comes to helping those in need.” said Zach, “This food drive is one way everyone can get involved by donating canned food items and be a part of history while helping those who need it the most.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Zachary Bonner as the third Lightning Community Hero of the year October 13. Bonner, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding America for the Food for A Million Project.
Hundreds of partners including Walmart, Winn-Dixie, Performance Foods and Publix, have already committed to donating food during the drive, but the effort will need help from the public in order to reach the 1 million pound goal.
“It’s a major undertaking,” said Tim Marks, president and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries. “Our 1 million pound goal equals about 24 semi-trucks full of food, and we can’t succeed without the support of our community.”
“The magnitude of this effort means a world record, but the quality of it means Tampa Bay is coming together to take care of our own,” said Thomas Mantz, executive director of Feeding America Tampa Bay. “A million meals means that more people – including moms, dads, kids, senior citizens, veterans and coworkers – would not have to go to bed hungry.”
The official weight tabulation will be done at the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent by Landmark Engineering and Surveying.