Orlando, FL (PRWEB) November 9, 2006
The Greater Orlando Food Bank is reaching out to the Central Florida community asking for donations and assistance in serving deserving families. The organization, which has been serving the area for 5 years, grew out of a Christian ministry that with a different approach to reaching an underserved segment of the community.
"Our style and vision is innovative and unconventional – there is a new way of doing the Food Bank model," says Scott George, founder of the Greater Orlando Food Bank. "The working poor and low-income retirees are often struggling to make ends meet. We help them get the food they need in an atmosphere that upholds their dignity and self-respect. Our guests experience shopping like everybody else and feel great during the process. Shopping carts, brightly lit isles, Christian music and a friendly staff await each guest at The Greater Orlando Food Bank."
Thousands of families have received not only free bread, eggs and milk through the organization's "Food for All Program" but through the "Hands up Program": they receive assistance with the high cost of groceries.
The success and results speak for themselves, each week over 1400 families come to the Greater Orlando Food Bank. The atmosphere is much like a "big box" discount club. Says George: "Our design is intentional and deliberate, we want families to want to come and feel uplifted and in control of their own grocery decisions, we want them to be a part of the solution."
"Recently we have started to ask the people of Central Florida to help us in this ministry," George says. "The fundraising mailers we are sending have been able to provide information about what we do, and tell the community can how to help those in need. We are dedicated to help those low-income people who may not be able to find food assistance because they fall through the cracks by having too much income, or some other qualification problem. We find those are the people most benefited by the Greater Orlando Food Bank program."
The funds we are raising will make it possible to lower membership fees and prices at the store, as well as expand the program to assist more people. "We aren't turning people away," Says George, "but our capacity is limited, and we want to provide additional help in the community."
The Greater Orlando Food bank is also very serious about its financial responsibility to donors and those the organization serves. All of the appropriate government forms are filed each year, and the organization is listed on GuideStar a charity information service. The organization does an annual audit, and provides its financial information to anyone who requests it.
Each week families from all over Central Florida shop in the downtown Orlando warehouse. They are greeted at the front check in desk. New customers are given the necessary paperwork to pre-qualify and register for the program. A small membership fee is charged, which helps the organization pay food acquisition and operational costs.
Regular members have their club card swiped thru the data base system and then begin to shop. Each member understands the process and structure of the suggested donations system. The members' small donation for each item they purchase enables the Greater Orlando Food Bank to identify, purchase and transport quality food from all over the Southeast to the community. 95% of the food on the shelves has been purchased by the Greater Orlando Food Bank.
"Some of our guests prefer the shopping model where they purchase what they want over receiving a prepared box of food. They felt they had no choice in the process. We offer a system they prefer," says George. "The Greater Orlando Food Bank is pioneering a new way and a new model to assist those in need in Central Florida."
The Greater Orlando Food Bank is a part of the Destiny Foundation of Central Florida. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a passion of assisting the working poor and those on inadequate fixed retirement income of Central Florida. Over the past 5 years (nearly, more than) 300,000 guests have visited the organization's ministry center and have been provided assistance and encouragement in there time of need.
Destiny Foundation/Greater Orlando Food Bank
Lord, to those who hunger, give bread. And to those who have bread, give the hunger for justice.
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