It was with great pride and appreciation that Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) recently announced that it will be directing $5.6 million to help combat hunger and homelessness across our region this year.
The news was announced against the backdrop of United Way Day of Action on June 21, when more than 300 local volunteers fanned out across Central Florida in a day of community service benefiting 24 local nonprofits and the people they serve.
31 Critical Programs Receive Grants
Of the $5.6 million United Way is distributing, $3.6 million has been awarded in grants to 31 agency programs that support United Way’s strategic focus on Alleviating Hunger and Homelessness. Among the partner agencies receiving grants were Coalition for the Homeless, Second Harvest Food Bank, Seniors First, The Salvation Army, Help Now Osceola, SafeHouse of Seminole and more than a dozen others.
Another component of the $5.6 million impact is $2 million that will be distributed through United Way’s Stewardship Program, which last year served more than 85,000 tri-county residents who were facing hunger, homelessness and other emergency situations.
$30 Million Impact Over Past Five Years
As the tri-county region’s largest funder of hunger and homeless services programs, United Way has locally distributed more than $30 million over the past five years to address these growing problems.
“Even with signs of positive movement in our region’s economy, tremendous need still exists among tens of thousands of Central Floridians,” said Robert H. (Bob) Brown, HFUW President/CEO. “The distribution of these resources, including immediate grants to agency programs in all three counties, is the culmination of a focused and deliberate process geared toward prevention and measurable impact. We thank and commend the volunteers serving on our Alleviating Hunger and Homelessness Cabinet for their expertise and leadership throughout this process.”
Alleviating Hunger and Homelessness is one of United Way’s four strategic Investing in Results focus areas. Others are Developing Healthy Children and Families; Improving Financial Stability; and Building Safe Communities through Education.