Heart of Florida United Way
Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) recently presented grant money totaling more than $260,000 to two Sanford-based nonprofits.
Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida received $123,032 for its Loaves & Fishes program, while Pathways to Home welcomed $250,000.
Rescue Outreach Mission’s Emergency Shelter and Loaves & Fishes programs will receive $114,182 (combined) from HFUW for each of the next three fiscal years, totaling $342,546, and the organization will be able to reapply for funds at the end of the three-year term. In addition, Community Based Care of Central Florida’s program Pathways to Home, will receive $250,000 from United Way for each of the next three fiscal years, totaling $750,000, and will be able to reapply for funds at the end of the three-year term.
Pathways to Home also received the Children’s Week Community Innovation Award from United Way of Florida in April 2011.
These dollars were part of HFUW’s recent announcement of nearly $15 million investment in local health and human service programs.
Loaves and Fishes Programs
In the past year, the Loaves and Fishes program has served over 44,000 meals. Through the “Loaves and Fishes” program, Rescue Outreach Mission provides two meals a day, five days a week, to residents of our shelters and anyone in the community who says they are hungry.
There are no requirements, no qualifications, nothing to sign. Many people have the misconception that hunger is only associated with pockets of society or the homeless. In actuality, there are many people living all around us that are not sure of where their next meal is coming from.
By helping to meet that need, ROM's "Loaves & Fishes" program helps prevents hunger in our community. In addition, while at the mission for their meals, the individuals served by this program have access to other services that help prevent homelessness and economic crisis, such as a clothes closet, mental health counseling and referral to other agencies that can assist them.
Rescue Outreach Mission’s "Loaves & Fishes" is a critically-needed program, especially in our ‘slow’ economic climate. Among the factors impacting need for the program in our coverage area are high occupancy rates in our shelters, resulting in greater need for meals for shelter residents. In addition, clients from the community can come once to eat or come daily for months.
The demand for the program has resulted in increased costs in the areas of food, supplies and staffing (we employ two full-time cooks and the program is also supported by other administrative and program staff), although the program enjoys more than $25,000 in in-kind donations of food a year. In addition, a strong volunteer component augments the efforts of our staff to prepare and serve meals.
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