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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Hilton

September 14, 2018

Team Members take Hilton’s innovation and influence to communities to drive positive change. During Hilton’s annual Global Week of Service, more than 65 volunteers from six Orlando area Hilton Properties partnered with United Against Poverty Orlando. For nearly 100 years, Hilton has seen a world that can be made better through genuine hospitality. The efforts of the Orlando area Hilton Team Members are a part of Hilton’s week-long celebration recognizing the company’s year-round commitment to serving and enriching the communities where Team Members live, work and travel. “One of our key purposes at Hilton is to serve and support our...

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Highlighted Partner: Spraker Wealth Management

September 14, 2018

Susan Spraker, President of Spraker Wealth Management, first learned of our agency after reading an article in the Orlando Sentinel. She quickly became engaged with the mission of United Against Poverty as a founding member of our Board of Directors. And thus began a ten year partnership during which Susan and her team have tirelessly dedicated their time, talent and treasure to helping working poor families and dignity and hope. Spraker Wealth Management provides holistic financial planning and wealth management for families, individuals and foundations. Over the years, Susan and her team have spent hundreds of hours stocking the shelves in...

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Facility Update: Shopping Carts

September 14, 2018

In recent years, UP Orlando has struggled to maintain an adequate inventory of shopping carts to keep up with demand. On particularly busy days, this shortage would make it especially difficult for parents with children to get the items they need without a cart available. If they had time, members would oftentimes circle the parking lot waiting for another family to unload their groceries so that they could secure a cart. Having shopping carts available for all of our members to use any time of day may seem like a simple pleasure, but it’s an essential part of the dignified...

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