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USF credit union donates meals to Tampa General

USF Federal Credit Union donated meals to Tampa General Hospital's frontline staff to thank the staff for its work keeping the Tampa Bay area safe by battling the spread of coronavirus.  Three hundred healthy meals were prepared and delivered by Harvest Bowl Eatery & Market of Seminole Heights. "It is our privilege to be able to provide a comforting meal to the doctors, nurses and staff who are working around the clock amidst this COVID-19 outbreak," Richard Skaggs, USF FCU president and CEO, said in a news release. "The work they're doing is vitally important and we appreciate all those who are our frontline defense during this pandemic." Tampa General Hospital is a select employee group for the credit union and hospital employees and their families are eligible to join USF FCU.

#WestfieldCares highlights charitable work in Tampa-St. Pete area

Westfield shopping centers in Tampa Bay have launched #WestfieldCares, a program to highlight organizations and the charitable work they are doing to confront the effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on vulnerable populations. Among the organizations Westfield is working with are Feeding Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Education Foundation, AdventHealth Brandon, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and Pinellas County Regional 9-1-1 Center.  Organizations that want to participate can email, or

Agency on Aging partners with restaurants on meals for seniors

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas is partnering with local restaurants to safely serve seniors meals at home while also supporting the local economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative, "Dining Out at Home," is part of a statewide effort championed by the Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. AAAPP and its nutrition providers, Pasco County Nutrition and Neighborly Care Network, will contract directly with local restaurants to provide home-delivered meals to local seniors in need. The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas is a non-profit organization that serves seniors and individuals with disabilities.  

St. Petersburg opens applications for small business fund

Applications for St. Petersburg's new Fighting Chance Fund are available online starting today. The $6.8 million fund is designed to provide relief to small businesses and workers impacted by local Covid-19 orders. It offers $5,000 grants for independently-owned and operated small businesses — restaurants, bars, retail and service businesses physically located in St. Petersburg, at least 50 percent owned by St. Pete residents, and with 25 or fewer workers. It also offers $500 grants to St. Pete residents who were terminated, furloughed or whose salary has been reduced at least 50 percent from an eligible business. For more details and to apply, click here.

DeBartolo gives $2.5M to Tampa General for Covid-19 unit

Real estate developer Eddie DeBartolo and his wife, Candy, have donated $2.5 million to Tampa General Hospital to help treat patients diagnosed with infectious diseases including Covid-19. The funds will be used to develop a Covid-19 unit that would provide a dedicated area to diagnose and treat community members, a news release said. The donation will help pay for the construction and equipment, including necessary negative pressure isolation rooms and ventilators. A timeline for opening has not yet been set.  The family also donated $150,000 to the TGH Team Member Emergency Fund, a fund designated to help team members in crisis who cannot afford to pay bills such as mortgage or rent, utilities or car payments due to the inability to work. The latest gifts follow a $5 million donation in December in honor of Dr. Thomas Bernasek, an orthopedic surgeon on staff at TGH. DeBartolo is founder and CEO of DeBartolo Holdings and is No. 319 on the Forbes 400, a list of wealthiest Americans.

Tampa philanthropist seeds USF Health pandemic fund

Tampa philanthropist Mary T. Pipino has made a $25,000 gift to USF Health to support its research efforts and fight the coronavirus pandemic. Pipino'sgift will establish the USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund, which will support the immediate and long-term needs to prevent, treat and train for a pandemic response, a news release said. As of Friday morning, 133 donors had raised almost $50,000 for the fund. To donate, click here. Pipino is an executive vice president and president of real estate risk management for Beecher Carlson Insurance Services, LLC, a large account risk management company. She's also an alumna of University of South Florida.

Creative Pinellas surveying Covid-19’s impact on local artists

Creative Pinellas, one of the local umbrella organizations responsible for the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund, is conducting a survey to gauge the severity of the current situation on the arts community and its impact on the local economy. In Pinellas County, according to the survey, 3.5% of the workforce is a member of a creative industry. "If you are an artist, arts organization or arts-related business that’s been financially impacted by the Covid-19 virus, we want to hear from you," Creative Pinellas said in a news release. "This information can be shared with government and civic leaders on the best ways to protecting the financial health of the county’s arts community." The survey is here.

Pinellas County closes all playgrounds, public exercise/fitness zones

An order by the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Thursday closed all playgrounds and public exercise/fitness zones. 

Tampa Bay Wave preps for TechDiversity Accelerator

Tampa Bay Wave is taking applications for its TechDiversity Accelerator. It's a 90-day program designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage, tech-enabled startups led by founders from under-represented groups in the tech industry. The Nielsen Foundation is supporting the program for the third year at Tampa Bay Wave, a nonprofit that supports local entrepreneurs. The TechDiversity program applications opened earlier this month and will close on April 12, with the program kickoff planned for early summer. Companies successfully completing the curriculum will participate in Tampa Bay Wave’s Demo Day in September. Click here to apply.

Community Health Centers of Pinellas gets $115K in federal funds

Community Health Centers of Pinellas in St.Petersburg is one of 47 health centers in Florida that will receive $4.5 million in federal funds for coronavirus preparedness and response. Community Health Centers will receive $115,694. Pinellas County will receive $58,607 and Tampa Family Health Centers in Tampa will get $215,190. See the full list of centers and funding amounts here. “These federal funds will provide critical resources to Florida’s health centers, which are integral in caring for patients as the coronavirus continues to spread in our state,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in a statement.

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