Expansion to East Tampa has led to new heights as an organization as it inches toward the 700-meals-per-day mark.
On Monday, the organization's steady growth hit a new high as it served a record 669 meals that day. It took three large trucks dropping off food to 12 different drop-off sites, where volunteers pick up and deliver the food along 60 different routes each day.
The kitchen at the Hillsborough Avenue hub can handle making around 1,500 meals a day, and while there is no stated goal for MOW, they are happy to see the numbers growing.
"We've committed to a pretty aggressive expansion into East Tampa, but that's just part of it," said Andrea Brogen, Meals on Wheels Tampa's director of community relations. "Some of it is just our natural growth, because hopefully people are getting to know us and what we do. We want to help as many people as we can, so there was a lot of excitement around here (Monday) to have set the record."
The previous record was just more than 600, but the organization's continuing expansion helped shatter that mark. that the company plans to reach into New Tampa next year, which should help them set the record once again.
Homebound seniors and those unable to shop for themselves are the primary benefactors of the program, which delivers five days a week and provides frozen meals for the weekends.
The food that Meals on Wheels delivers is cooked by the staff at the Hillsborough Avenue location and is centered around a protein such as beef, chicken or pork. The meals are cooked daily and vary in flavor, from beef burgundy to chicken parmesan.
"We just hope we are reaching out to as many people as we can," Brogen said. "We've been seeing a steady incline since January, and we hope it keeps going. Our kitchen can handle more, so we plan on expanding and continuing to push our name recognition."
The nonprofit can always use volunteers and offers .