Giving Tuesday Success!

After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, comes Giving Tuesday, a day of global philanthropy. Meals on Wheels PLUS was blessed with a $100,000 Challenge Gift to match $1 for $1 all gifts made during a 24-hour period on Tuesday, November 28th. Thank you to everyone who donated and to our matching donors: Sara & Steve Bayard, Carol & Bob Carter, Christi Bock, Terri Scherer, and TDS Construction. Including the matching gift, nearly $202,000 was raised in just 24 hours by the supporters of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee to help feed those in need in our community! Thank you!

18th Annual Holiday Shoebox Reception

The 18th Annual Holiday Shoebox Reception was held on Saturday, December 2nd at the Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge. Guests brought hundreds of shoeboxes to the event, over 750 in fact, to benefit the seniors in our PLUS programs! Volunteers from the Elks provided delicious food and drinks for guests who also enjoyed a holiday market, silent auction, and raffle. The number of shoeboxes donated is increasing every day and we expect to surpass our goal of collecting 1,000 Holiday Shoeboxes! Our thanks to everyone who has donated a Holiday Shoebox this season!

Meals on Wheels PLUS Board of Directors Pack Food for Thanksgiving Distribution 

Our thanks to the Meals on Wheels PLUS Board of Directors who assisted with food packing for the November Food4Families Thanksgiving distribution. Board members loaded food bags on an assembly line to prepare for the 500+ families who received Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides.

The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, is the only food bank based in Manatee County, and the largest hunger-relief organization in our community. Distributing over 3.4 million pounds of food in Manatee County in 2022, fresh and non-perishable food items are collected, sorted, stored, and distributed through a network of food pantries and partner agencies. Services include:

  • Partnerships with well over 85+ food pantries and partner agencies
  • Food4Families Direct Distribution Food events, providing 30 meals to feed a family of 5 for two or more days 
  • Free, fresh produce through our Mobile Produce Pantry
  • Pet Food 
  • Nutrition Education 
  • Emergency baby diapers, wipes, and formula distributed into the community
  • Emergency food baskets for families in crisis situations.

Friendship Dining Center Opens New Location

A new Friendship Dining Center location is opening! Join us for an open house:

Wednesday, December 13th

9am to 11am

Parrish United Methodist Church

12180 US-301, Parrish, FL 34219

We now have four Friendship Dining Center locations open throughout Manatee County. Programs are being hosted in 34207, 34208, 34251, and 34219 zip codes. If you or someone you know is interested in joining a community-wide program that offers nutrition, recreation, and fun activities like armchair travel and bingo, our Friendship Dining Center locations are the perfect place to make new friends and stay active!

For more information on our Friendship Dining Center programs, please call 941-747-4655 or visit

The Friendship Dining Program, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, is for people over 60 who would like to make new friends, participate in fun activities, and hear from local experts on a variety of topics as well as enjoy a nutritious meal. Friendship Dining Centers are conveniently located in Manatee County. Participants enjoy the following services provided at these centers:

  • Activities including films, art, and music
  • Holiday celebrations
  • Card games, bingo, creative projects, and more

For more information about Friendship Dining Centers, please click here.

Home-delivered Meals Thanksgiving Delivery 

Nearly 700 Home-delivered Meal clients enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day thanks to our amazing staff and volunteers. Our thanks to Ian Black Realty for providing an insulated meal tote for each client! The Breakfast Company also provided pastries and a generous anonymous donor provided coffee for all our Thanksgiving volunteers!

Volunteers hold insulated cooler bags that were sponsored by Ian Black Realty. Thanks to the insulated bags, our volunteers were able to deliver Thanksgiving meals to our clients at just the right temperature. Thank you, Ian Black Realty!

The Home-delivered Meals

program, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, provides nutritious Home-delivered Meals for those in need in our community. All Home-delivered Meals are approved by a registered dietitian and pureed meals are also available for individuals who have special needs. Nutritious Home-delivered Meals may be available for those who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Live in Manatee County, Florida
  • 60+ years of age
  • Homebound, socially isolated
  • Have difficulty preparing meals or shopping for yourself
  • Unable to attend a congregate nutrition site
  • Lack funds to purchase nutritious food

Click here for more information about our Home-delivered Meals program.


Daybreak Hosts Friendship Dining Center on Their Field Trip

Daybreak Adult Day Center clients had a visit from friends in our Friendship Dining Center program. The Friendship Dining Center clients took a bus up to Lakewood Ranch to visit the Daybreak facility, participate in the daily programming, and make new friends.

Daybreak Adult Day Center provides social, recreational, and therapeutic activities designed to meet the needs of older adults who live at home with a loved one but cannot be left alone while their caregiver works or attends to other responsibilities.

At Daybreak Adult Day Center, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, we provide a safe, secure environment with social, recreational, and therapeutic activities designed to meet the needs of older adults who live at home with a loved one but cannot be left alone while their caregiver works.

Daybreak Adult Day Center is the only licensed and federally funded Adult Day Center in Manatee County, providing an affordable and safe environment for our clients to thrive. Ongoing, year-round programs are Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm with most clients attending between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm. For more information about Daybreak Adult Day Center, please click here.

Donor Spotlight: TerraNova Equestrian Center  

Our thanks to TerraNova Equestrian Center and The TerraNova Equestrian Center Foundation for hosting a new event for Meals on Wheels PLUS at their November Eventing Competition. Similar to our signature “Empty Bowls” fundraising event, local restaurants brought their delicious soups for guests to eat.

Thanks to participating establishments: Michael's On East, Almazonica, Myakka City Grill, Georgie's, Owen's Fish Camp, Tsunami, Atria, St. Armands Baking Company, Pink Cloud Catering, and Jaimie's Cake Creations. And a huge thanks to the TerraNova Equestrian Foundation for hosting us on their beautiful grounds!

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has counted on the financial support of our generous donors since we first opened our doors in 1972. With our mission to assist individuals to live independently by providing nutrition and caring, supportive services at the forefront of our daily work, thousands upon thousands of people have received help and hope when they needed it most.

As we look to the future, we continue to count on the philanthropic support of our community to meet the ever-growing needs in our community. Planned Giving is a way to leave a legacy to benefit the many clients who receive services from our PLUS programs: Home-delivered Meals, The Food Bank of Manatee, Daybreak Adult Day Center, and Friendship Dining Centers. Click here for more information about leaving a legacy gift in support of our mission.

Community Spotlight: Ian Black Real Estate 

We are grateful for the support of Ian Black Real Estate for sponsoring our Thanksgiving Meal Delivery bags for our Home-delivered Meal clients. Employees from Ian Black also assisted in packing meal-delivery bags for the Thanksgiving clients.

Volunteer Spotlight: IMG Academy

Thank you to IMG Academy for bringing students to assist with our Thanksgiving Food4Families Holiday Food Distribution in November. Students helped to load cars, restock items, and wish attendees a Happy Thanksgiving. This is the third year IMG Academy has brought student groups to help load cars at a drive-through food distribution. Group chaperone, Emily said, “Our students look forward to doing this every year!” 


Food Distribution Programs |December 2023

If you are a senior needing meals delivered to your home, we can help! Our Home-delivered Meal program is available to Manatee County residents.


The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, provides non-perishable food items to local food pantries and soup kitchens.


Our Mobile Produce Pantry will be out and about in the community providing fresh and nutritious produce free of charge.


Thanks to our 2023 Sponsors

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