TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Downtown partnership is working with several restaurants and food trucks to offer those in need with a unique currency to use at select locations. It’s called Breadcoin.

What You Need To Know

  • Breadcoin has been used in Tampa since February

  • The currency is designed to give homeless a sense of dignity and to allow them to choose what to eat

  • It's funded by corporate gifts and donations

According to the founders of Breadcoin, the token is worth $2.50 and works like a community-wide gift certificate at participating food vendors.

June Brown, a homeless liaison for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, walks around several blocks speaking with homeless and offers them a meal using the coins.

“These bread coins are the best thing. You don’t have to worry about them saying ‘hey, excuse me, do you have a dollar? Do you have any money you can spare?’,” Brown said.

Brown will ask someone in need if they are hungry and either go and get them a meal or bring them along. It provides a homeless person a chance at having options on what to eat.

“It gives them a sense of independence; they do something for themselves,” Brown said. “It ensures you know where that money is going and it helps our small businesses in the long run, too.”

The program first launched in February. It’s funded by donations and corporate gifts. Several businesses, like Moxies Café, are participating.

So far, organizers are calling it a success and could expand the program to include more locations in the near future.

A question and answer sheet on how Breadcoin works can be found below.