Bradenton Goodwill offering free meals, job interviews

A local Goodwill is offering free food, medical services and job opportunities this weekend.

The goal is to reach at-need community members and to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., who was honored with a national day of service on Monday. King, a strong advocate for community service, once said that “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

In partnership with the Multicultural Health Institute, Goodwill’s corporate location, 2705 51st Ave. E., Bradenton, will serve anyone who visits from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The health institute will provide blood pressure, glucose and BMI checks, along with diabetes education and screenings. As part of the continued fight against COVID-19, the agency will also provide hand sanitizer and face masks for adults and children.

MCR Health will join the event to help with free eye exams and referrals, while Meals on Wheels Plus will provide food for visitors, according to a news release from Goodwill.

Goodwill Manasota plans to offer on-the-spot interviews for employment at Goodwill, along with information on social services, career opportunities and veteran services in the area.

And for those who wish to join in serving the community, SunCoast Blood Centers will accept donations and reward donors with a $10 Goodwill gift card. Photo identification is required and appointments are preferred, though walk-ins are accepted.

All donors will receive a wellness check and a COVID-19 antibody screening. A $50 Amazon gift card is available to anyone who tests positive for antibodies and decides to donate plasma.

To make an appointment, visit the SunCoast Blood Centers website or email Cindy Winning at

In a prepared statement, Goodwill Manasota’s vice president of mission services, Margie Genter, said she was excited to honor the memory of MLK and to serve the community.

“If we can help catch dental and health issues early for even one community member, and direct people to resources that can help improve their lives, then this effort will have been most worthwhile,” she said.

For more information about the event, go to or call Pavitra Ciavardone at 941-355-2721, extension 163.

Giuseppe Sabella, education reporter for the Bradenton Herald, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He spent time at the Independent Florida Alligator, the Gainesville Sun and the Florida Times-Union. His coverage of education in Manatee County earned him a first place prize in the Florida Society of News Editors’ 2019 Journalism Contest. Giuseppe also spent one year in Charleston, W.Va., earning a first-place award for investigative reporting.

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