PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Pinellas nonprofit is aiming to make a big impact this holiday season on families caring for foster children.

  • Feeding the Fosters on Facebook
  • Project evolved from a service project into a nonprofit
  • More Good News stories
  • Donations for Feeding the Fosters can be sent to 2519 McMullen Booth Rd., #510, box 214 Clearwater 33761

Feeding the Fosters provides home-cooked meals to foster families. The mission became a nonprofit in August 2019.

Before that, it was a service project lead by two sisters hoping to make a difference.

Samantha and Laura Kopec have always had a love for food. In 2018, they were cooking meals weekly to donate to the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch in Safety Harbor during the summer.

In 2019, they created a Facebook page in the hope that people might volunteer to help them cook for more families. The community answered the call, and now they are a nonprofit providing weekly meals to individual families and the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch.

"When we bring the food into the houses they always run out the front door saying 'thank you' and giving us hugs,” said Samantha Kopec.

Right now, they have nearly 600 people following their journey on Facebook. Some volunteers cook and deliver meals, while others donate gift cards so the Kopecs can buy supplies to cook the meals. 

“They know the same feeling that we get when we get our hugs from our little friends," Samantha said. "It’s just so much fun and we’re so glad that it has exploded the way it has. It’s a dream come true."

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, some of their fellow students at Tarpon Springs High School helped them cook holiday meals for the families. The students are part of Tri-M Music Honor Society and they volunteered Wednesday as part of a service project. Some of the foster families picked up the meals and met the students.

Looking ahead to Christmas, they’re hoping volunteers will help them provide more to the foster families. They will continue cooking meals and they’d like to be able to give them gift cards to do activities with the kids.

Beyond that, they hope to cook more meals each week for more families. They would like to launch a website and grow the organization. If you’d like to help, visit their page on Facebook