According to Osceola County, there has been an increase in food pantry distribution of more than 60% since March 1st, and as of March 16th 55% of residents visiting food pantries have been out of work due to COVID-19.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it took an average $4,000 to $5,000 to run a food pantry in Osceola County for an entire month, so consider what that need and expense has risen to with the effects of COVID-19.
To help meet that need, Osceola County has partnered with Osceola REDI (Recovery from Emergency Disaster Initiative), a non-profit organization made up of a coalition of faith-based and non-profit organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, and individuals dedicated to assisting those who have been victims of disaster by pooling together community resources and assistance.
After working closely with the food pantries and area agencies, Osceola REDI has launched a fundraising campaign, called Feed Osceola, with a goal of raising $100,000 to help fund and support food pantries in Osceola County amid the COVIOD-19 pandemic.
“The novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a once in a lifetime event that has resulted in immediate and harsh realities — with many of Osceola County’s hard-working residents being affected disproportionately,” said County Commissioner Brandon Arrington. “Having volunteered with food distribution in the Poinciana area, I realize all too well the demand for basic necessities, such as food, is overwhelming. That’s why I’m urging everyone who can to give whatever they can to help us limit the effects of food insecurity in our community. And if you don’t have the ability to contribute financially, if you are able, please consider volunteering at a pantry as a way to help.”
To kick off the campaign, the Silver Spurs Riding Club, who hosts one of our community’s longest-standing traditions, The Silver Spurs Rodeo, unanimously voted to donate $3,000 for the launch and hopes the community will match it.
Individuals and households are key starting points for emergency preparedness and support for community recovery efforts. Osceola REDI is designed to be a grassroots entity working with the local government to ensure citizens’ needs are met and ensure Osceola County returns to normalcy as quickly as possible. For more information about Osceola REDI and its Feed Osceola campaign, please visit Feedingosceola.org.