Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for family, friends, and, of course, feasting the day away on mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, turkey, and more, before settling into the ultimate food coma nap(hey there, tryptophan👋 ).
In 2018, 13.7% of Polk County residents experienced food insecurity, according to Feeding America – a rate that is higher than in counties like Orange, Osceola, and Hillsborough. And now, due to COVID-19, job loss, and other circumstances, local food pantries have experienced a higher demand volume.
If you or someone you know is in need this Thanksgiving, check out this list below of local groups giving away free holiday meals. ⬇️
• Feeding Tampa Bay | Locations vary | Times vary | You can collect free groceries to prepare a Thanksgiving meal from both mobile + mega pantries in Polk County.
• Viste | Delivery to home | Times vary | VISTE is planning to deliver over 1,800 meals to clients in Polk County on Nov. 25 + has reduced the age requirement to sign up for services.
• Walmart| Locations vary | Times vary | Ibotta has teamed up with Walmart to offer free Thanksgiving meals after patrons download a Chrome extension. Meals feed a family of five and consist of turkey, seasonings, soft drinks, frozen vegetables + more.
• Talbot House Ministries | 814 N. Kentucky Ave. | The ministry is hosting a sit-down meal on Thanksgiving day at 4 p.m. Masks (unless seated) + social distancing will be required and dinner will be served in shifts.
Note: This is not a complete list, so if you know of other local places sharing free Thanksgiving meals, email us here.
Pass along the stuffing, gravy, rolls, and this list, via your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or by email, using the buttons below. You never know who could use it. 🥘
Civic ○Lakeland City Commissioners voted against the construction of a 150-ft. cell tower in Dixieland, during Monday’s City Commission meeting. The proposal of the cell tower – which was pitched to be located at 1055 Ariana St. – was met with feedback from residents in the surrounding area. (The Ledger)
FeelGood ○ Maliyah Rue – a fifth-grader at Winston Academy of Engineering – has recently published a book about what it’s like to grow up during COVID-19. The Polk County elementary student’s said her book, “Biscuit … The Little Girl Growing Up in 2020,” helped her document her emotions and process her feelings. Other entrepreneur goals: Maliyah has also developed a nail polish line + is planning to start auditioning for commercials in the future. 📚
Arts ○ A virtual gallery wascreated by Plant City business Periphery Media to feature artwork from Lakeland artist Brittany Ellerbe. The gallery, titled Floral Admiration, will be active through Nov. 22 + shows 11 of Brittany’s oil paintings which showcase women in flowery backgrounds. Scroll through the gallery here. 💐 (The Ledger)
Number ○ $600. Lakeland’s holiday budget amount, according to WalletHub’s list of 2020 Holiday Budgets by City. To find this number, WalletHub compared 500+ cities on metrics like income, age, debt + more. Palo Alto, CA ranked no. 1, with a $3,056 budget, Lakeland ranked 395, and Albany, GA ranked last with a $50 budget. (WalletHub)
ForParents ○ Polk County Public Schools is offering curbside meal pickups on Nov. 20, to provide students food during the school break.Children will receive breakfast, lunch, a gallon of milk, fresh produce, and more. See all locations here.
Finance ○ After a trying year, we’re more consciousof our spending as we approach the holiday season. The local finance pros at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union put together these 7 budgeting tips for the holidays to help you start planning ahead for the season’s celebrations without the added financial stress. 🎁 Ⓟ
TheBuy ○ ‘Tis the season for cozy feet (and, you know, gift giving).Bombas socks are super comfortable, colorful + designed to last. Plus, for every pair purchased, Bombas will donate a pair to someone in need. Get 20% offeverythingfor your mistle-toes from now until Dec. 2 when you shop the sale. Ⓟ
ForKids ○ Joanna Parker started Yumble – a service that delivers organic, ready-to-eat meals for kids directly to parents’ doors – because she struggled to get healthy meals on the table during school nights. Yumble is nutritionist-designed, mom-approved, and especially great for picky eaters, with mealslikeMac & Mozz Burger Bowl + Snack Poppers.Bonus: They’re offering 30% off and free shipping. Ⓟ
Coronavirus ○ Once approved, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is planning a phased approach to a vaccination plan. FDOH’s distribution plan shows that first responders would receive the vaccine first, followed by essential workers, and older and high-risk individuals. (ABC 7) ○ On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health announced 7,459 new cases of COVID-19 and85 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 897,323+ the total deaths to 17,644. ○ You can find more updates concerning COVID-19 case numbers on the Florida Department of Health dashboard. See Lakeland + Polk numbers here.
ShopLocal ○ Let’s spread the wealth. Our Nov. 27 newsletter will feature holiday shopping deals to help you support our local businesses. If you’re planning a Black Friday sale our readers should know about, click here — our $75 promotion (70% off) has been extended through tomorrow, Nov. 19.
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Ready for some pretty *sweet* news? HoneyComb Bread Bakers have announced its new storefront will open at the beginning of 2021.
The shop, previously located in Downtown Lakeland, will bee located in Downtown Winter Haven, on Ave. B – which is pretty perfect, if you ask us. 🐝 You can follow along with the business’s progress by checking the #buildingabakery hashtag on Instagram.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
Active ○Free Virtual Zumba Class| Wed., Nov. 18 | 6-7 p.m. | Virtual | Free, RSVP | Get your body moving and burn off some calories in this cardio dance class. 💃🏽
Drink ○Gin Seminar| Wed., Nov. 18 | 6:15-8 p.m. | Red Door Lakeland, 733 E. Palmetto St. | $45 | Small plates are included. 🍸 ○Wine Down Wednesday| Wed., Nov. 18 | 4-9 p.m. | The Yard On Mass, 802 N. Massachusetts Ave. | Prices Vary | Purchase half-off bottles + discounted wine glasses.
TryThis ○Plant City Virtual Game Night | Wed., Nov. 18 | 7-10 p.m. | Virtual | Free,RSVP | This game night features topics from 8,000+ quiz questions, charades, drawing, trivia + drinking games.
ForKids ○After School Portfolio| Wed., Nov. 18 | 4-5 p.m. | Art Centric Studio, 1035 S. Florida Ave. | $75 | Kids from ages 9-12 years can attend this art class to build their art portfolio and learn the basics of drawing. 🖌️
Cause ○Food Giveaway|Wed., Nov. 18 | 6-7 p.m. | St. Paul Lutheran Church & School, 4450 Harden Blvd. | Free | All that are in need are welcome to stop by this food drive and pick up a bag of grocery items on a first-come-first-served basis. 🥫
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
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DYK the CDC recommends adults get 7 hours of sleepeach night to help feel their best? But honestly, how many of us are actually getting that many hours these days?
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👋 Kaylee here and I just wanted to add one last thing: We are so much better as a community to help one another, so if you’re hungry + in need, please don’t feel guilty about utilizing this list. I grew up with a single mother who, at many times, worked multiple jobs, making sure we consistently had food on the table. If it wasn’t for the generosity of local churches, nonprofits, and the kindness of strangers, I’m not sure we would have had Thanksgiving dinner sometimes.
Shout out to all the workers + volunteers keeping everyone’s’ bellies full + warm this holiday season. Y’all are the real MVPs. 💛
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