Let’s simplify what the coronavirus pandemic is causing in our community right now, as those words are highly-technical science terms.
This is a crisis, and you can see it looking in many directions in Osceola County.
Some people now not working because of the economic shutdown are finding it hard to put food on their tables. The charities that help in that time of need, like the Osceola Council on Aging, have been inundated with requests, and are facing shortages themselves.
It’s then when the generosity of this great community shines through.
Kissimmee’s Chris May works in the nutrition department for the Osceola County School District while running his own catering business. With the schools closed it’s given him free time to help feed as many people as possible, with the backing of the Council on Aging, who runs the county’s Meals on Wheels program, so they know how to get food to the masses, they just need the food.
He’s started the “Feed Osceola” initiative, working to raise money to make sure those who need food in this time can get it.” May will be joined by Council on Aging Program Director Warren Hougland on a live interview Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Positively Osceola’s Facebook page.
“It’s been a response to the coronavirus,” May said. “All this happened right before Spring Break, and with school closed it gave me so much free time, time I felt I had to be doing something with.”
When county partners held the drive-up food pantry at Osceola Heritage Park, and May saw the number of people who came to get food who walked away empty handed. It sent him into a faster pace, and #FeedOsceola was born.
He’s enlisted the help of friends Courtney and Jimmy Daniels with Kent Custom Homes, who have graciously offered to match all Feed Osceola donations up to $10,000. That’s the goal of the Feed Osceola GoFundMe page, which has raised nearly $4,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re hoping to pick up some other corporate sponsors, because every bit helps,” May said.”We’re just trying to help our neighbors, help our friends, and help the community.”
The money raised will be passed on to the Council on Aging and used exclusively to purchase big needs like non-perishable good and fresh produce — directly from Osceola County farmers when possible. Some will also be used to purchase gift cards to locally-owned restaurants and other small businesses in St. Cloud and Kissimmee for the Council on Aging to connect to those who need them the most.
So if you have enough and can give to Feed Osceola, please help those who are in need, and help make a positive difference in Osceola County during some of the worst times we will see.