John Robbins sifted through a few items in a cardboard box before lifting out a pouch of sunflower seeds. It was packed neatly along with raisins and non-perishable fruit cups.

“All sorts of different dried and canned foods,” he said. “They’ll be able to get that source of nutrition.”

Robbins has served as the high school leadership board president at the Meals on Wheels in Tampa for the past year.

It’s a way to uphold a family legacy for Robbins.

“Both my grandmothers were very involved with Meals on Wheels,” he said.

The food and flashlight-radio combo will be especially helpful if another storm hits Tampa Bay this year. In 2017, Hurricane Irma knocked out power for a week for the majority of the area. Meals on Wheels was unable to deliver food for a few days. It’s a vital service for hundreds of people.

“I can’t really stand up to cook anymore,” said Vickey Rowe, who lives alone in Tampa. “I love Meals on Wheels.”

Rowe, 91, has received food from Meals on Wheels for four years. She’s proud of her granddaughter Emily-Elizabeth Grams, who will take over for Robbins as the new leadership board president at the end of May.

“I’m so excited. I just think it’s going to be a really great experience to lead a group that’s really going to help people,” said Grams, a junior at Berkley Prep in Tampa.

Shana Taylor-Page spent four years volunteering at Meals on Wheels of Tampa before assuming the role of director of programs and partners in January.

“They are so impressive to me. It’s an honor to have these kids represent us in the community,” said Taylor-Page. “They’re great leaders, great speakers and they truly have a heart for the mission. They’re not just doing this to get community service hours to build their resumes. They are doing this because they want to make a difference and they want to be the faces and the voices of our mission and it’s really special.”

“My grandma receives it, so it’s especially important to me that she gets food and someone checks on her every week,” said Grams. “It feels really amazing to know that we did something that’s going to help people if they are in danger.”

Meals on Wheels in Tampa is looking for volunteers to help deliver those hurricane preparedness kits. If you would like to help drop off some of the 850-plus boxes, visit MOWTampa.org.