$270,000 in funding provided for food and childcare relief efforts in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties
United Way of Central Florida is pleased to announce that $270,000 will be invested in local programs to provide childcare and healthy food to Central Florida residents.
The George Jenkins Foundation donated $170,000 to provide childcare to first responders, frontline medical staff and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
$110,000 will go to YMCA of West Central Florida in Polk, $30,000 to Highlands County Family YMCA and $30,000 to Early Learning Coalition of Florida’s Heartland, Inc., serving Highlands and Hardee counties.
“Beginning in March, we pivoted our operations to include relief childcare, mobile food pantries, blood drives, and senior wellness checks,” said Stacy Walsh, Chief Development Officer for YMCA of West Central Florida. “The sustainability of these programs depends on generous donations from our community members. We are so thankful for the George Jenkins Foundation, United Way and their continued support of the YMCA and our community.”
The remaining $100,000 was donated to purchase supplemental protein resources for UWCF’s 17 Polk County George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative mobile food pantries, as well as additional food distribution sites in Highlands County.
“The George Jenkins Foundation has been a real champion, not just of our End Hunger Initiative, but the entire Central Florida community,” said Christina Criser Jackson, President and CEO of UWCF. “These funds will absolutely go a long way in helping our residents through this difficult time.”
The YMCA is the nation’s largest school-age childcare provider and is committed to ensuring that essential workers in our community have access to quality childcare.