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United Way of Tampa Bay recently received this startling memo from United Food Bank, an independent agency United Way partners with to help hungry families. It clearly demonstrates the incredible challenges faced by people in our community — and charts how hunger is a growing issue in our region.

“The United Food Bank’s annual Children’s Nutrition Outreach Program provides free breakfast and lunch groceries to children who are at risk of going hungry when school meals are not available. Children can be referred to this program from their schools during spring, summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

The summer program ended August 20th as students will return to school this week. Below is a three year comparison of the impact of the program to children in need in our community:

  • In 2008, there were 2,170 client visits for food; in 2009 we served 4,102 and in 2010, 6,460 sought help.
  • In 2008, we distributed 36,000 pounds of food.  In 2009, 68,000 pounds and in 2010, 77,905 pounds were given out.

Families thanked us all summer and said without the United Food Bank’s grocery support, they did not know how they would feed their children. In fact, the very first day of our children’s summer outreach, an elementary school aged boy came in the United Food Bank with his mom. He said, “I’m starving. We forgot to eat breakfast this morning, didn’t we mom?” When I looked up at the mom, she had tears in her eyes . . . she didn’t forget breakfast, she didn’t have food to give her son . . .

Currently, due to the tremendous impact of our Children’s Nutrition Outreach Program, our shelves are looking empty. Your continued support enables us to refill the shelves and continue providing groceries to truly hungry individuals in our community.”

Data Provided by:
Kelleigh Klein
Executive Director
United Food Bank and Services of Plant City

(United Food Bank and Services of Plant City is an independent nonprofit organization and not directly affiliated with United Way)

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During the 6 p.m. news hour on Fox 13 this evening, the Prosperity Campaign’s free tax preparation service will be featured.  Be sure to watch and see how you (or someone you know) may qualify.  Thanks, Fox 13, for focusing on this important story.

Share this news story on Facebook and Twitter if you can.

Learn more.

Every penny counts in today’s economy, yet many Tampa Bay working people are overlooking an important tax credit that could put up to $5,600 or more in their pockets. The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, can be the needed financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times in Hillsborough County. Thousands of families will qualify for an additional benefit: free income tax preparation by volunteer tax preparers.

United Way of Tampa Bay, the lead agency in a partnership of several regional organizations, is directing the efforts of the Prosperity Campaign of Hillsborough County.  Through the Prosperity Campaign, qualified individuals will have access to free tax preparation and assistance in applying for additional tax credits.
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How People Can Help:

(A)    Individuals can make monetary donations online at www.LiveUnited.org.  These contributions will go directly into the United Way Worldwide Disaster Relief Fund.  You can conveniently use a credit or debit card to make this donation.  Or you may wish to send a check to:

United Way Worldwide
Haiti Disaster Relief
PO Box 630568
Baltimore, Maryland 21263-0568

Make your check payable to United Way Worldwide/Haiti Relief Fund

Individuals may also text a $5 donation by texting HAITI to UNITED (864833).

(B)    Corporate partners and other workplace organizations in the Tampa Bay area are encouraged to contact Afira DeVries at 813-846-8099 or by email at adevries@uwtb.org for business donations of any type.

(C)    Individual in-kind donations of materials (clothing, blankets, medicines, etc.) are being managed by United Way’s partnership with AidMatrix.  The web address is www.aidmatrix.org/haiti.htm ; follow the online procedure to identify your donation.  Please note: Most in-kind donations will not be collected locally and/or be transported to Haiti until rescue and recovery operations are complete.  This may take several days or more while military and rescue efforts are underway.

(D)    Individuals who have an interest in volunteering to assist in local relief efforts are encouraged to contact the following sites:

Red Cross Web Site:    www.RedCross.org
Salvation Army:    www.SalvationArmyUSA.org
Catholic Charities: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org

Late breaking information will be made available on this blog or you may wish to follow us on Twitter @UWTB.

Free Tax Help

Who’s Eligible

If your household income is $49,000 or less and you file an income tax return, you’re eligible for free tax preparation.

What To Bring

  • Photo identification
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for tax payers and the dependents on the tax return
  • 2009 tax package if you received one
    All wage and earning statements – Form W-2, W2G, 1099-R for all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks – Form 1099
  • A copy of last year’s federal tax return
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Other relevant documentation (as applicable):

    • Total paid for child care and daycare provider’s identification number and contact information
    • Total paid for continuing education (tuition, books, supplies, etc.)
    • Sales tax paid on purchase of new vehicle
    • Information on purchase of new home (if first-time buyer)
    • Business-related expenses, such as mileage, office supplies, advertising (if small-business owner or independent contractor)
    • Adoption expenses
    • Any notices received from the IRS or state tax office
    • Property tax bills
    • Additional forms of income: prizes and awards, scholarships and fellowships, lottery/gambling winnings.
    • To file taxes electronically on a “married filing jointly” return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

If you lost or do not have all of these items, you can still get your taxes prepared. Call the IRS helpline at 1-800-829-1040 to find out what you need and how to obtain missing or duplicate documents.

Where To Go

Hillsborough County
2010 Tax Preparation Sites

North Tampa and University Area

Opening mid-January – mid February 2010.

University Community Resource Center
13605 North 22nd Street
Tampa. FL 33613
813-975-2153
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.;
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

North Tampa FSRC
1401-A East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33612
813-558-1877
Income Limit: $49,000

Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance
9215 North Florida Avenue, #101
Tampa, FL 33612
813-930-7400

Genesis Financial Management
12640 Telecom Drive
Tampa, FL  33637
813-864-3990
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. & Thursday 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
One Saturday per month (TBA)
By appointment

Jimmie B. Keel Library
2902 West Bearss Avenue
Tampa, FL 33618
813-273-3652
OPEN: Thursday & Friday 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.

East Tampa and Ybor City

Children’s Board
1002 East Palm Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
813-204-1741
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Monday & Wednesday 3:00 – 6:30 p.m.; Thursday 9:30 -11:30am; Two Saturdays per month, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (dates TBD)

Lee Davis NSC
3402 North 22nd Street
Tampa, FL 33605
813-272-5220
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Metropolitan Ministries
2301 North Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33602
813-209-1200
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thirty-Fourth Street Church of God
3000 North 34th Street
Tampa, FL  33605
(813) 248-8700 ext. 21
Income Limit – $56,000

Sulphur Springs Resource Center
8412 N 12th Street
Tampa, FL 33604
(813) 936-3064
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday & Wednesday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.;
Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
By appointment only

West Tampa and Town ‘n Country

West Tampa Neighborhood Service Center
2103 North Rome Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
813-272-5074
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Town & Country FSRC
7520 West Waters, #8
Tampa, FL 33615
813-356-1703
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon; Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Saturday 3:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

HCC – Dale Mabry Campus
4001 Tampa Bay Blvd
Social Sciences Building, Room 204
Tampa, FL 33614
Income Limit: $49,000
813-253-7497
OPEN: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Friday: February 5, February 12, February 19, February 26, March 5, March 12, March 19
Saturday: February 6, February 20, February 27, March 6, March 13, March 20

American Legion Post 152
11211 Sheldon Road
Tampa, FL 33626

Beulah Baptist Institutional Church
1006 Cypress Street
Tampa, FL  33606
813-251-3382
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.;
Thursday 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

West Tampa Library
2312 W. Union Street
Tampa, FL  33607
813-273-3652
OPEN: Monday 12:00 noon  – 4:00 p.m.

Jan Kaminis Platt Library
3910 S. Manhattan Avenue
Tampa, FL  33611
813-273-3652
OPEN: Monday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

South Tampa, Brandon, Ruskin and Plant City

South Shore Community Center
201 14th Avenue SE
Ruskin, FL 33570
813-671-7647
OPEN: Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Opening Date: February 6, 2010
Spanish speakers available

King’s Point Clubhouse
1900 Clubhouse Drive
Sun City Center, FL 33573
813-634-8108
OPEN: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Opening Date: February 1, 2010
Walk-in and by appointment.

United Community Church
1501 La Jolla Avenue
Sun City Center, FL 33573
813-633-2375
OPEN: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed Monday, April 5th)
Opening date: February 1, 2010
Walk-in and by appointment.

Plant City Neighborhood Service Center
307 N. Michigan
Plant City, FL  33563
813-757-3871
Income Limit:  $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Bruton Memorial Library
302 McLendon Street
Plant City, FL 33563
813-757-9215
Income Limit: $49,000

Brandon FSRC
1277 Kingsway Road
Brandon, FL 33510
813-740-4634
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Monday 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Friday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.;
Saturday 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

Bloomingdale Library
906 Bloomingdale Avenue
Valrico, FL 33594-6204

Seffner-Mango Library
410 Kingsway Avenue
Seffner, FL  33584
813-273-3652

Pinellas County Locations coming soon; visit http://www.UnitedWayTampaBay.org/freetaxhelp for more information.

As reported by Yahoo and the Associated Press:

Drugstore operator Walgreens will offer free clinic visits to the unemployed and uninsured for the rest of the year, providing tests and routine treatment for minor ailments through its walk-in clinics — though patients will still pay for precriptions.

Walgreens said patients who lose their job and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at its in-store Take Care clinics for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments. Typically those treatments cost $59 or more for patients with no insurance.

Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of the Take Care Health Systems division, described the plan as something close to an experiment: He said Walgreens isn’t sure of patient demand or how much providing the services might cost the company.

It’s likely to generate more attention for the clinics, however. Rosenbluth said a typical Take Care patient tells eight other people about his or her experience. So far, about 30 percent of Take Care patients were new customers to Walgreens.

The program is expected to last through the end of 2009. Walgreens runs 341 Take Care clinics in 35 markets around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland.

Free services will be offered only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walgreens said it will not offer free checkups, vaccinations or other injections because it is focusing on providing services patients might otherwise get at an urgent-care center or even an emergency room.

Patients must present proof they are unemployed, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub. They will have to sign a form at the clinic saying they have lost their jobs and health benefits. If they find a new job or get new health insurance, they will no longer be eligible for free care.

Spouses and children are also eligible for free services if they don’t have insurance of their own.

Medical lab operator Quest Diagnostics is participating in the program by offering free tests for step throat and urinary tract infections.

Walgreens bought the Take Care clinics in May 2007. Take Care says it has seen about 1.2 million patients since its launch in November 2005 and estimates that up to 30 percent of them were uninsured.

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Contact Us

UNITED WAY SUNCOAST
5201 W. Kennedy Blvd.,
Suite 600 Tampa, FL 33609
Ph. (813) 274-0900
Fax. (813) 228-9549

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