Give & Grub and help end hunger in Tampa Bay

Recently, through my association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was invited to attend an event that promised to not only fill my belly, but the bellies of hungry children throughout Tampa Bay.

Food insecurity runs rampant in Tampa, with one in four children going hungry on a daily basis. More than 700,000 individuals go hungry every single day in the Tampa Bay area. Many of those affected are children, but the elderly are also significantly impacted, with some having to choose between buying medication and buying food. 

People who are food insecure do not know where their next meal is coming from, and that is why Give & Grub was created. They want to help. And giving back has never tasted so good. All you have to do is buy a meal—it is that simple. For every meal purchased at our Give & Grub food truck, another meal will be donated by Laser Spine Institute to a child of a family in need.

Give & Grub food truck serves gourmet food, with a mission to help the hungry. You will enjoy delicious dishes that are sure to have your taste buds singing. Experience some of the Tampa Bay Lightning players’ favorite meals, such as the Cooper’s Candied Burger, named after Coach Jon Cooper. This decadent burger will entice your taste buds with candied jalapeños. Also featured is the Chicken Parmkos Sandwich—a chicken parmesan sandwich named after player Steven Stamkos.

I was able to see all the delicious items they have to offer on the Give & Grub food truck. 

 But hands down, my favorite was the Chicken Parmkos Sandwich.

They also unveiled a brand new steak sandwich. And it was very very very good. 

 They are still trying to come up with a name for this sandwich and are asking for your help! I submitted the name

"Tampa Bay Filppula for Steak." It's supposed to be a play on words with player Valtteri Filppula name being said like "Flips", so Tampa Bay Flips for Steak. Ya, a long shot I know Wink

The Tampa Bay Bloggers had a great time meeting Thunderbug, who is now an honorary member of our group!

 And of course, the opportunity to get many of together at the same time is always fantastic! It's always nice to catch up with old friends!


Do you want to try The Give & Grub food truck?

The Give & Grub food truck can be found at Tampa Bay Lightning home games on Thursdays and Saturdays, Tampa Bay Storm games and featured special events at the Amalie Arena. Check HERE for their schedule.

Or, take a stand against hunger with your co-workers! Arrange for the Give & Grub Food Truck to stop by your workplace. Simply send a request at

  • Follow Give & Grub on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay update with the food truck’s stop schedule and giveback initiatives. 


    And don't forget, each time you use the hashtag #GiveandGrub they will donate one meal to a hungry child in Tampa Bay. It's THAT easy!

    Have you heard of the Give & Grub food truck? 

Startup Weekend Tampa Youth

Disclosure:  My children will participate in Startup Weekend Tampa Bay through a partnership with Tampa Bay Bloggers and the Startup Weekend Tampa Bay. All opinions shared are my own.


This year my two daughters (Haley age 10, Ella age 9) will be participating in their first Startup Weekend Tampa Bay Youth.

To say that they are excited would be an under statment. Both of my girls are extremely creative, in the fine arts, and in computer science.

They are both busy brainstorming which of the three categories they'd most like to sign up for:

1. Creative/Design: Applies to any student with the desire for creativity and design.

2. Coding/Programming: Applies to software/engineers/coders/developers - in short, any student who can and will write code. 

3. Business/Finance: Applies to business, marketing & PR, and any student with a non-technical background.

Personally, I'm trying to steer them towards the creative/design, or business/finance, because they are just starting to get their feet wet with coding/programming. Their dad is a software developer (literally one of the best in the United States) but they are just so new to software development/coding that I think they'd get frustrated. And even though they love Minecraft they haven't yet ventured out into coding something for the game.

What is UP Global?

UP Global is a non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities. UP Global is on a mission to make the world a more innovative and prosperous place, one community at a time. We believe that entrepreneurs are critical to driving a strong global economy and a better world. We do our part by supporting the grassroots leaders who are at the core of every strong entrepreneurial community. Through the efforts of its grassroots community leaders, UP Global operates programs that foster entrepreneurship in hundreds of cities across the world. UP Global's flagship programs & initatives include Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Next, Startup Education, and Entrepreneurs Across Borders.

Startup Weekend Youth Edition is specially designed for the next generation’s entrepreneurs, 5th–8th graders. If you’ve participated in a Startup Weekend in the past, this is something different, something special. We will create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will inspire creative ideas in young minds and help kids to learn how to move those ideas forward towards action, and in the process, collaborate with their peers.

Today’s youth are full of creative ideas for how to make lives and the world a better place. This will be a place for them to take those ideas and move them towards reality. This event will also help build confidence in creating and sharing ideas for those that tend to keep them inward. They will jump in with hands on activities that help them identify a challenge to solve, learn to understand the end customer or user, work effectively with others, and in the end, build something they are proud of.

This is a 3 day event, and for the low cost of $25 (total, not per day) your child will get the chance to see their idea brought to life. They'll get to work with amazing mentors. They'll learn more about themselves and what they are capable of. They'll get to work with peers and professionals.

So don't delay. REGISTER HERE!!

Have you ever heard of Startup Weekend??

Push Away the Screen-Experience Madagascar

Our family loves Busch Gardens. We are annual pass holders and we go to the park quite often. When the kids and I were invited to "Media Day" to preview the new show Madagascar LIVE Operation Vacation, we jumped at the chance! This meant that the trio even got to play hooky from school.

We were instructed to enter Busch Gardens through the employee entrance which took us right under the massive roller coaster Shiekra!! My gang is not yet tall enough for this ride, but they love to watch it "swoosh" through, so getting so close was a real treat!

 We walked up a green paw printed carpet and were each given a lovely drawstring Busch Gardens bag (with their new logo!!) and inside the bag we each had a t-shirt, a Madagascar notepad and pen. We hobnobbed with other media locals; fellow bloggers, reporters, and TV Personalities.

We were escorted through the park (before it was even open!!) to the newly renovated AIR-CONDITIONED Stanleyville Theater. My kids are always asking me to see the shows, but I always balk at the idea of being "trapped" with three little kids alone in a theater. What if someone has to pee? Do I leave and take all 3? Do I just take one and leave the other two behind? This experience forced me outside MY comfort zone and allowed my gang to experience something that they have been begging for!

We had a quick meet/greet with King Julien and went back to our seats to await the start of the show!

The show started off with a bang and my little dude got a bit freaked out. It was quite loud, and he doesn't do so well with loud unexpected noises, but that ended quickly and the familiar characters from Madagascar came out singing and dancing!

Photo by Busch Gardens

It was a very "boy-bandish" type of show. Very poppy, very catchy. Reminded me a bit of the Spice Girls meets New Direction. And I loved it. And more importantly, my kids loved it. We never got bored, and we never had to make a trip to the bathroom.


The show ended with bubbles falling from the sky. This totally made Ronin's day. He loves bubbles and he was laughing and giggling as they fell around him. 

After the show was over, we spent the rest of the day riding the water rides with our friends.

The kids went on the log flume, the Congo River Rapids (twice!!) and the Tidal Wave (3 or 4 times!!) plus they played in the water area at Jungala! It was a fantastic day, and just a precursor to all the fun we have planned for summer vacation!!

Photo by Denise of RunDMT


For information about Busch Gardens Tampa and its newest show, Madagascar Live! Operation Vacation, visit online for showtimes, tickets and hours of operations. Guest can also experience “The Royal Treatment with King Julien”, an exclusive dining experience now available, featuring lunch at Zambia Smokehouse, reserved show seating, and priority at the end-of-show meet and greet with the characters.