Catholic Charities of Central Florida received a generous donation of $34,000 from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation to help provide food for Polk County families in need this holiday season.
The grant will help bring holiday meal packs to seniors at Lake Morton Senior Center, more than 1100 students in the SmilePak Pantry & Backpack Program and an estimated 400 families in the Family Empowerment Program. In addition to the holiday meal pack, families with children will receive toys.
“This is the third year in a row that the George Jenkins Fund of the Givewell Foundation has blessed us with a special holiday donation – allowing us to provide either a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal to many of the hungry in our community,” said Brenda Reddout, Director of Alleviating Hunger at Catholic Charities. “Every person – young, old or in between – deserves to experience the joy of the holidays. These funds will go a long way to making that happen. We are thankful to the George Jenkins family for making the issue of hunger one of their priorities.”
Polk County is ranked 8th in the nation for food insecurity. The 2014 Feeding America Map the Gap reported that 16.7% of the Polk County population experience food insecurity. The report also found that 27.3% of those individuals were children.
Catholic Charities of Central Florida is the largest non-profit social service organization in Central Florida. Their mission is to provide vital social services to people in need regardless of their religious, social, or economic background, to improve lives of individuals, families and the community. These social services include: preventing homelessness, alleviating hunger, providing access to healthcare, and caring for immigrants and refugees.