UWCF Receives Community Donations to Serve Residents
United Way of Central Florida’s first George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative food distribution at The Way Church in Winter Haven was originally expected to serve 200 households.
By the opening date, March 28, 2020, demand at sites in the Polk County-wide program doubled and even tripled. In anticipation of large drive-through traffic, additional food was secured from Midwest Food Bank and the Junior League of Greater Winter Haven.
The expected turnout didn’t disappoint, with some people lined up on bicycles and some starting two hours before the distribution was set to start. In total, 391 households were served, providing food to 1,505 persons, including 787 children.
In a similar fashion, SunLand Distribution and Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits have helped increase the amount of food available at Lakeland food distribution site on Edgewood Drive. That site served over 450 households, 1,730 persons, and 796 children.
Many other local businesses and individuals have also stepped up and made contributions to UWCF and the food distribution sites. Snell’s Berry Farm donated 5,600 pounds of fresh-picked blueberries, the Girl Scouts donated 6,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and The Strand Salon supplied our volunteers with 600 gloves.
UWCF has also been able to connect donors with other organizations. Thanks to our partnership, the Winter Haven Housing Authority received 85 cases of macaroni from SunLand Distribution and BePresent Skin Care gave 7,200 toiletries to a program run by Two Men and a Truck.
Also, an anonymous donor gave Lakeland Regional Health, Peace River Center, Talbot House and Boys and Girls Club of Polk County a total of 10,000 facemasks, including 2,000 for UWCF to use at food distribution sites.
Thank you to all of our donors, large and small, for helping to make UWCF’s George W. Jenkins End Hunger initiative so impactful in our community. Many Polk residents rely on this service for basic needs, now more than ever.