Coronavirus panic-buying robs nonprofits of groceries they hand out to the needy

Donations of unsold food from grocery stores are down as much as 80 percent, leaving some food pantry shelves empty.

TAMPA — Olga Carvalho never imagined she would need to go to a food pantry.

But Wednesday morning, she and her sister were loading their car with boxes holding cereal, two rolls of toilet paper, canned vegetables and macaroni and cheese from an emergency drive-thru food bank set up by Metropolitan Ministries on North Tampa Street.

A server at Golden Corral, Carvalho usually works a 35-hour week. Now, her hours have been cut to just 15.

“This has never happened to me before,” she said. “I’m very worried.”

Read the full story by Christopher O’Donnell for the Tampa Bay Times.