According to the University of Central Florida’s Poverty in Central Florida Report, we are living in an era of increasing poverty in this country, evidenced by a six-year annual increase in the national poverty rate.*
Almost anyone who has been affected by the recent economic downturn would agree, the number of people in financial crisis, who are experiencing the effects of hunger and poverty are at an all time high, and we in Central Florida have certainly seen our share.
There is a misconception that the poor and low income population is economically idle, but the fact is that 49% of low income people in Central Florida are in fact part of the labor force. 44% of the working poor would prefer to work more hours than their employers are able to give them.*
Another 16% of our community’s poor and low income population are disabled and cannot work, 9% are students, stay-at-home moms and miscellaneous others and another 16% are elderly people who are beyond their working years. That leaves only 10% who are economically idle.*
Children are gravely affected by the economic troubles that have affected us all. In Orlando 27.5% of children live in poverty.** Within the City Beautiful, there are neighborhoods with an alarming rate of at-risk kids, such as the Parramore Heritage community a 1.4 square-mile neighborhood that is nearby the CFOC campus. It is home to over 2,000 children, 73% of whom live in poverty.*** Thousands of Central Florida kids like these need hope and resources to break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential.
Across the country, schools are getting out for the summer. And while most students will leave their classrooms happy for the break, some parents will be fretting about how to feed their children without meals provided through schools.
The hot summer months bring a fresh challenge for food banks across the nation. How to make sure millions of children get regular, healthy meals when they aren’t in school.
About 21.4 million children receive free or reduced-price lunches at school on a typical school day, according to the USDA. Some of the nation’s neediest kids also receive breakfast, snacks, dinner and even backpacks of weekend food through school and after-school programs.
So, how can you help? MBA has partnered with the Community Food & Outreach Center. Donations are accepted at MBA Headquarters Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm. They are in a time of great need over the summer and can use all of your help.