Amazing Things Happening with The Blessing Bags Project Here on the Suncoast

The Blessing Bags Project was founded in 2014 by a group of concerned citizens in Manatee County to address the homeless population in the community. Providing hygiene products, necessities, warm meals, and special one-on-one requests for children and families alike is a big undertaking for this and many organizations. Homelessness due to job loss, situational poverty, and other circumstances has increased in recent years due to covid, housing crisis, mental health concerns, and various other concerns. The Blessing Bags Project continues to expand the opportunities they bring to people most in need in our community.

This wonderful organization and Hunger’s End are the beneficiaries of the “Giving Back” event this year at Swordfish Grill on October 6, 2022. Every year, the “Giving Back” event is not only one of the area’s most fun events, but the impact is huge. The extravaganza, hosted at Cortez’s Swordfish Grill and Tiki, offers an incredible night of the area’s best live music, delicious food, and thousands of dollars donated to a deserving nonprofit. Be sure to mark your calendar and get tickets by calling the Swordfish Grill at (941) 798-2035.

Giving Back

From interfacing with other nonprofits and agencies around town to help meet the community needs to raising vital funds to provide hygiene products, food, and even back-to-school supplies – The Blessing Bags Project is on the move all the time, giving back here on the Suncoast. There are so many amazing things going on, and here are just a few highlights in recent months.

Recently they received 100 boxes of Frito Lay chips and snacks from Restore Global – SRQ Office. They ensured 50 boxes were donated in turn to The Food Bank of Manatee, 25 boxes for Freedom Gathering, and ten boxes to a youth ministry. It takes an army of wonderful volunteers and organizations to ensure every bit of food helps those needing it.

The Blessing Bags

An Amazing Memorial Day Dinner with the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island also helped serve 500 hot dogs, desserts, and snow cones for volunteers and the disadvantaged in the community. This was such a rewarding and amazing way to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

Downtown Family

A truly needed donation of a van from Sherry and Scott Elliott of 88Live Piano Bar because a catalyst for even more wonderful things to come from The Blessing Bags Project. This van facilitates picking up donations, handing out food, and transporting goods to those in so many ways. This van will help bring more supplies, fellowship, and amazing things to the homeless it was commissioned to serve.

Blessing Bags Giving Back

The Blessing Bags Project kicked off a “Ukraine Refugee Relief Fund” for Manatee and Sarasota counties.  Once refugees are placed here after the conflict drives them from their homes, they can fill out an application for help with food, clothing, school uniforms, hygiene items, etc. The Blessing Bags Project felt these displaced families would align with their mission statement. “We provide basic, critical needs to the homeless and less fortunate.” The Blessing Bags Project has helped refugees from Haiti and other countries.  It is especially heartbreaking to see children with fright in their eyes.  Families are brought here with nothing, and we want to provide this organization wishes to provide a glimpse of hope for them.

In addition, ways that community members can get involved include:

  • Street Outreach – volunteers hit the streets on Friday afternoons to bring food, sandwiches, hygiene items, etc., to those needing them. We always go out in teams. We welcome donations of food and water.
  • Monday Night Meals – volunteers prepare and serve a meal on the last Monday of every month. All holidays included!
  • Collection & Bagging – Collect items from our most needed list or join the team for open bagging days.
  • Grant Writing – always in need of good writers and those knowledgeable in this area to help.
  • Host an Event – ideas for fundraisers throughout the year are always welcome.
  • Food or Shoe Drives – host a drive to get wish list items; a bonus is this makes a great service hours project for school kids.

Finally, as we head into the holidays this year, look for The Blessing Bags Project to gear up to help provide food and gifts to those most in need, including many children, during their annual holiday events. This organization actively seeks out the homeless in our community to best fill the growing needs of so many with less than the bare minimum. As they continue receiving so much love, donation, and community volunteer support, they pay every bit of that to those who need it most here on the Suncoast.

If you wish to get involved with The Blessing Bags Project:




Photo courtesy of The Blessing Bags Project

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