From United Against Poverty and Community Resource Network
There is good news for families struggling in Apopka! Thanks to the partnership of Next Step Ministry, Big Potato Foundation, Apopka Police Department, and the City of Apopka, United Against Poverty will be bringing their Mobile Market back to the Apopka VFW (519 S. Central Ave., Apopka, FL 32703) this coming Thursday, September 24, 10:00 am-3:00 pm. This mobile offering of its grocery program will allow UP to provide fresh produce, eggs and other quality items to those in need in the community at a low cost.
United Against Poverty Orlando (UP) was founded in 2009 to notice the hundreds of thousands of people in need who were going unnoticed in Central Florida. At the time there was not a widespread definition of the population now known as the working poor, but it was clear that a new approach was needed to help lift up neighbors in need.
UP's hand UP not handout model began with a Member Share Grocery Program, which offered much-needed dignity for families. Its popularity quickly grew and, as traffic to their campus increased, program participants expressed a need for additional on-site services. Their organization evolved from simply helping families put food on the table to becoming a “one stop shop” where those in need can turn to for food and household subsidy, crisis care, educational opportunities, employment training and placement and the opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty—once and for all.
Today, UP Orlando has earned recognition as one of the busiest single-site social service agencies in the state of Florida, serving an average of 525 individuals each day. 100% of program participants fall at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and the majority reside in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Because of the kindness of volunteers, and donors, they were able to help create a future filled with hope and independence for 11,067 unique households in 2019 alone.
To meet the increased need for food in communities due to job layoffs from COVID-19, UP started providing UP Mobile Markets to get groceries to people who need it quickly and safely. They targeted communities identified as food deserts and partnered with government agencies and other nonprofits to staff the events. The first two events served 800 families by providing 10 tons of food that became available because of food service businesses closing or scaling back. They have also secured Farmers to Family food boxes from the USDA through the end of the year to keep this mobile program going as families continue to adjust to the economic struggle created by COVID-19. UP Orlando has hosted two Mobile Market events so far with plans to have two per month through the end of the year.
Thank you to all those involved in making this happen for Apopka!