“My Goal”: A Tampa woman fights hunger by launching a healthy juice bar

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Northeast Tampa woman decided to help fight food hunger in her community by opening a healthy juice bar in her neighborhood.

Shamica Ware was more concerned with the number of people living in poverty, and now she’s dedicated to changing the face of Northeast Tampa.

A blend of fresh fruit paired with a passion for a better community.

Shamica Ware is the owner of the ZING Juice Bar and is determined to break down disparities with nature’s best.

“When I was working here in this area and I couldn’t find anything to eat, it all came together,” Ware said.

Ware noticed that it was difficult to get hold of nutritious groceries and realized she was in a food desert as the area was miles from the nearest grocery store.

According to the US Census Bureau, the poverty rate in Northeast Tampa is about 17 percent.

“Some people don’t have transportation to get to the grocery store, which may be more than two miles away,” Ware said. “So now they can actually run and bike to get something that fuels their body.”

Her latest concern is with the children at the start of their summer vacation. Many will go hungry without the guaranteed meals they get at school.

“The kids will stay sedentary at home during the summer and play video games while the moms are at work,” Ware said. “Its scary.”

Busy moms like Carla Randall switched from quick, fast-food meals after noticing her daughter’s loss of energy.

“There was a lot of sluggish fatigue,” Randall said. “She wasn’t used to healthy options, so she didn’t want to eat it.”

Access to nutrients leaves a lasting impression on Reeka Mack, who is a full-time caregiver for her cousins ​​with ALS.

“He’s having trouble swallowing,” Mack said. “That’s why he often says he doesn’t want to eat anything and just wants to have a smoothie. So whenever he wants a smoothie bowl, we’re here to get him a bowl.”

It’s a labor of love coupled with compassion for the community, the ZING Juice Bar makes a difference.

“It’s definitely my purpose on this earth,” Ware said.

For more information on where to find a summer meal for students this summer, visit summerbreakspot.org

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