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Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee has delivered more than 400,000 meals to hungry families since March as part of its Food4Families program, which was created to help parents and kids struggling because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, with Manatee County schools set to reopen Monday, Aug. 17, Meals on Wheels is shifting its food distribution system to a new day and location.

Food distribution will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on upcoming Wednesdays, Aug. 12, 19 and 26, at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Drive-through service is offered to reduce social contact. Each free package is intended to contain breakfast, lunch and dinner for a family of five for at least two days.

Meals on Wheels PLUS has seen need spike throughout the community. The nonprofit delivered 24,611 meals in June, up 25.2 percent since March, and its leadership expects those numbers to rise even more.

"We anticipate food insecurity will continue to rise in Manatee County due to the impacts of Covid-19 and we are here to help fill the gap," said Meals on Wheels PLUS president and chief executive officer Maribeth Phillips, according to a press release.

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