Our Mission

To serve those in poverty by providing crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and placement, personal empowerment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers.

Our Purpose

To inspire and empower people living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency.

Our Vision

Communities where every family has access to basic needs, nutritional food, crisis care, education and employment training, and where everyone has the opportunity to achieve a future filled with hope and possibilities.

Our Values

  • Dignity
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Empowerment
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Partnership / Collaboration
  • Holistic Approach
about Us History

Organizational History

Noticing The Unnoticed

United Against Poverty Orlando 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 we have now come to know as the working poor, but it was clear that a new approach was needed to help lift up our neighbors in need. Our 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 our campus increased, program participants expressed a need for additional on-site services. Our 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.

Lifting Lives

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 more than 300 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. Your kindness helped to create a future filled with hope and independence for 10,008 unique households in 2020!

Programs Designed To Empower

To help our participants stabilize their foundation and build the confidence needed to lift themselves out of poverty, UP Orlando offers four core programs:
  • Our Member Share Grocery Program (MSGP) is a dignified food and household assistance program where income-qualified members can personally select the food, hygiene and household items their family needs while saving up to 70% of their household food and product budget. Our MSGP helped families retain $4.05 Million in 2020.
  • Our Crisis Stabilization Program (CSP) operates in our Life Enrichment Center, where those in crisis situations can come for the skills, resources and coaching needed to stabilize their life and work towards a permanent higher ground. In 2020, our CSP provided 12,767 units of service to families in need.
  • Our Success Training Employment Program (STEP) is an adult workforce training program designed to help individuals overcome barriers to employment. Participants spend 120 hours learning both the hard and soft skills that will help them secure living wage jobs. Once they obtain employment, each participant is paired with a personal Success Coach who continues to work with them for three years to ensure they excel in their position. STEP helped secure employment for 73 graduates in 2020.
  • Our Education Program connects participants with the opportunity to earn their high school diploma or strengthen their skillsets with courses focusing on adult literacy, parenting, budgeting, nutrition, computer skills and more. In 2020, we saw 309 individuals enroll in our General Education program!
about Us Empowered
Photo of Anjali Vaya

Letter from the Executive Director

We are proud to serve individuals and families in Central Florida living in poverty by providing crisis care, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers. Our cornerstone Member Share Grocery program provides access to nutritious food and household goods to more than 6,000 individuals in Central Florida annually. Our Life Enrichment Center (LEC) offers crisis care to households enrolling individuals into our many programs. Our Crisis Stabilization team has helped with rental assistance, holiday meals and providing toys to children for the holidays. Through our flagship workforce development program , the Success Training Employment Program (STEP), we provide essential job training skills and placement opportunities to those that enroll and complete the program. Because of the generosity of our many supporters, we have been able to raise funds that help UP Orlando keep our facilities running and provide critical programs that inspire and empower individuals living in poverty to lift themselves to economic self-sufficiency. On behalf of United Against Poverty, we thank you for support and belief in our mission.


Anjali Vaya