Volunteer Spotlight: Deloitte

June 12, 2019

We’d like to give a HUGE thanks to the awesome friends over at Deloitte! Every year, they bring a group of volunteers to serve in our Member Share Grocery Program, Member Marketplace, and everywhere else! From painting to stocking shelves, these volunteers do it all, completing more than 400 combined hours of community service with UP Orlando! Thank you Deloitte; we appreciate your dedication to the Central Florida community! If you are interested in bringing a group out to volunteer, please email our Volunteer and Facilities Manager, Monique Stewart, at monique@unitedagainstpoverty.org.

Read More

Highlighted Partner: WellCare

June 12, 2019

WellCare is a Medicare Advantage Plan, providing health insurance to individuals with Medicare, and they have been a loyal sponsor of UP Orlando for many years. For the last five years, Mario Martinez has been representing WellCare on the UP Orlando campus. Mario is originally from El Salvador. He moved to the US in 1990, and has lived in Florida with his wife and six children since 2004. Mario has more than 10 years of experience working with Medicare. He took a job with WellCare in 2014 and was assigned to the UP Orlando campus. Since taking over the WellCare...

Read More

$2-a-Day Poverty

June 12, 2019

by Carla Cox, Programs Director at United Against Poverty Defining what poverty means can be a challenge. Some base their definition on a stage in life, such as lack of housing; others base it on household income. But what most can agree on is that the definition is complicated. At United Against Poverty, we follow the Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG) which is an algorithm stating that your household income should be enough to afford housing, food and clothing, healthcare, transportation, and childcare at a figure of 100%. Currently, 15% of Orange County residents are falling below 100% FPG. An additional...

Read More

Helping Others Help Themselves

April 15, 2019

We have all experienced difficult seasons in our lives—times where we felt hopeless or discouraged. It is in those moments that many of us turn to our close friends and family for guidance. Unfortunately, what we have seen time and time again is that the individuals who come to us in crisis situations are not fortunate enough to have those support systems. Without that first layer of a safety net, they fall further and further. Ultimately, individuals struggling with poverty end up operating in survival mode—focusing solely on how to get through the day rather than finding a way to...

Read More

Featured Partner: Lucky’s Market

March 20, 2019

Lucky’s Market has been expanding all over Central Florida from their corporate headquarters in Wicot, CO and UP Orlando is fortunate to have a location open up across the street from our Michigan Street campus in the newly built Lucky’s Corner Shopping Center. Lucky’s has been one of our most involved Employer Partners, hiring eight of our Success Training Employment Program students for their new SoDo store. Our students are employed in the bakery (like Lee, right), in the produce department, and as cashiers among other positions in the store. We’re also excited to announce that Lucky’s SoDo has chosen...

Read More

Smoking and Poverty

March 20, 2019

Tobacco has a long history as a farming crop starting 8,000 years ago and is still one of the most important cash crops in North and South America. In the 17th century, tobacco products grew heavily through the mass marketing of cigarettes, adding in over 7,350 chemical compounds that risk cancer, cardiovascular disease, and heart disease. Smoking increased during both the World Wars as cigarettes were freely given to the troops as a “morale booster.” After learning about the negative health effects, since 1964 cigarette smoking among U.S. adults has reduced by more than half. However, people living in poverty...

Read More

SNAP & Poverty

February 08, 2019

By Eric Gray, Executive Director According to the USDA, the average American household spends $909 per month on groceries. After the recent shutdown and President Trumps mention of food stamps in his state of the union address, we’re getting many questions from local media, schools and concerned citizens about what furloughed federal employees do during a partial government shut down. With Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits having been distributed on January 20 and with no certainty on whether another distribution will happen, many more families (1 in 7) receiving assistance are concerned too. About 18% of the fees paid...

Read More

January 2019 Volunteer Update

February 06, 2019

Volunteer Spotlight: MLK Day of Service We’d like to give a HUGE thank you to our wonderful volunteer groups that gave of their time for the MLK Day of Service. Habitat for Humanity, City Year, as well as several families assisted in our Member Share Grocery Program by stocking shelves, bagging groceries for our members, and sorting donated business attire in our Member Marketplace. United Against Poverty greatly appreciates the hard work of volunteers. Find out how you can get involved at uporlando.org/volunteer. Volunteer Announcements: Family Volunteer Night: Our monthly Family Volunteer Nights bring families together in the spirit of...

Read More

Highlighted Partner: REACH

February 06, 2019

REACH brings together a group of Asian high school students to make a difference in the Central Florida community. The goal of REACH (Recognizing Experiencing Asian Culture and Heritage) is to promote Asian cultural heritage by reaching out to other young community leaders within Central Florida, through programs such as cultural performances, classroom presentations and carnival activities. REACH also educates young leaders through personal growth training, event planning and with community outreach through volunteering of their time, talents and treasures. For the past two years, REACH students from 10 area high schools have participated in a toy drive, benefiting our...

Read More

Taxes and Poverty

February 05, 2019

By Carla Cox, Program Director, United Against Poverty When we first entertained hosting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on the United Against Poverty Orlando campus, we knew this would benefit our members, but weren’t quite sure of the impact it would have. Through this program, volunteers become IRS certified tax preparers and assist families with low income navigate the complex process of filing completely for free. As we move into our 3rd year as a VITA location, we continue to learn the benefits this vital program has on the working poor; specifically, those who qualify for the Earned...

Read More