DID YOU KNOW?
According to a recent study in Central Florida, out of the 610,042 people that are homeless, 138,149 or 23% were children under the age of 18. This does not include those living in hotels or temporarily housed with friends or relatives, these children were living on the street. One out of every 4 students in central Florida is homeless.
Our vision, all children having sufficient access to nourishing foods on a daily basis gives purpose to our mission of supporting and sustaining food pantries in local schools. The Oranole Foundation places a food pantry in local schools and sustains them on a weekly basis. We currently have 18 schools that we support serving over 11,000 children and their families. Part of this program we also supply the schools counselors and nurses with ready to eat meals. Since the inception the schools have seen a dramatic reduction in truancy and children going home sick because their stomach hurts. Counselors state that in the past dealing with a hostile child was a challenge and now the first thing they do is sit the child down and give them a ready to eat meal kit and when it’s time to talk they are able to calm the child down and easily get to the root of the problem and most of the time the problem is hunger.
Since the recession started many individual lost their jobs and as their saving disappeared the decisions kept getting harder and harder, do we pay the rent or buy food or pay for the utilities. This is what has driven so many families into homelessness. In the total number of homeless families in America one-third are right here in Florida and there are over 400,000 family’s one paycheck away from being homeless. We believe that by giving them a hand up and eliminating that one bill, the food bill, not only will that child not go hungry but it will keep a roof over their head. Adults have many options, what options does a child have? None, let’s be there option. Through collaboration with the local school we are able to not only feed these children but we give them enough food for a family of four. There is usually a mother and or father, maybe another sibling, maybe an elderly grandparent in the household.