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United Way of the Florida Keys Awards a Half Million Dollars to Local Non-Profits

United Way of the Florida Keys is excited to announce that funding has more than tripled from previous years to support local non-profits in the 2018-19 Community Investment grant cycle.  UWFK will disburse $496,000 in grants to 19 local nonprofits providing access to nutritious food, childcare support, and safety net services. 

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, UWFK dedicated this funding cycle to support programs providing services to those negatively affected by the storm. Preference was given to programs that provide direct services to our neighbors in need, aiding in the community’s long-term recovery.  UWFK has raised $1.6 million for hurricane relief efforts, 100% of which will be used where it is most needed in the community.

Before the hurricane, nearly half of year-round Monroe County residents were ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).  These working poor families struggle to survive on a daily basis and non-profits help ensure they have food on the table, quality childcare for their children, and support to prevent them from slipping further into poverty or homelessness.  Given the storm’s devastating effects, the support provided by UWFK through our community partners is more critical than ever to this significant segment of our population.  

“Community volunteers play a vital role in the funding process.  This is a decision made by the community, for the community,” says UWFK CEO, Leah Stockton.  “Our board and site visit volunteers engage in this process to drive change in the lives of working families who struggle with the high cost of living in the Keys.” 

The 19 local non-profits have been awarded funding for 26 programs. 

2018-19 grant recipients providing access to nutritious food include:

  • BURTON MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, $15,000, to supply groceries through their food pantry and hot dinners once a week and on holidays.
  • FLORIDA KEYS CHILDRENS SHELTER, $18,750, to provide residential children with healthy home-cooked meals and snacks daily. 
  • FLORIDA KEYS HEALTHY START COALITION, $10,000, to provide food and nutritional supplies for families. 
  • FLORIDA KEYS OUTREACH COALITION, $14,000, to support their primary and secondary food pantries in Key West.
  • INDEPENDENCE CAY, $7,500, to provide hot meals and shower/laundry facilities in Marathon.
  • KEYS AREA INTERDENOMINATIONAL RESOURCES, $20,000, to stock and maintain their Marathon food pantry.
  • METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH KEY WEST, $14,000, to deliver meals and groceries to elderly Key West residents.
  • MONROE ASSOCIATION FOR REMARCABLE CITIZENS, $5,000, to provide a nutritious lunch for residential and community clients with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 
  • STAR OF THE SEA FOUNDATION, $70,000, to purchase a refrigerated box truck with a lift gate used to distribute food countywide, and obtain bulk and recovered food throughout the Keys.
  • WESLEY HOUSE FAMILY SERVICES, $17,500, to provide breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks as well as a weekly backpack of food for children enrolled at the Inez Martin Daycare Center in Key West.  

2018-19 grant recipients providing early childhood or after-school care include: 

  • BAHAMA VILLAGE MUSIC PROGRAM, $10,000, to support before and after school music lessons for children in the Lower Keys.
  • BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE KEYS AREA, $19,000, to waive summer camp fees for Big Pine children.
  • BURTON MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, $10,000, to provide childcare scholarships for Upper Keys children.
  • FLORIDA KEYS HEALTHY START COALITION, $9,000, to provide early childhood education programs countywide.  
  • GRACE JONES COMMUNITY CENTER, $25,000, to offer childcare scholarships for children of working parents in the Marathon area.
  • MARATHON RECREATION CENTER, $25,000, to provide after-school and summer care for children of working parents in the Marathon area.
  • ST COLUMBA EPISCOPAL CHURCH, $27,500, to provide free childcare including snacks, tutoring, and transportation at The Hammock House in Marathon.

2018-19 grant recipients providing safety net services:

  • CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI, $32,500, to provide emergency financial assistance. 
  • DOMESTIC ABUSE SHELTER, $20,000, to purchase a van to provide countywide transportation for shelter residents.
  • FLORIDA KEYS AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER PROGRAM, $7,500, to provide a dental health program, mental health assessments, and no-cost primary care services for Monroe County children.
  • FLORIDA KEYS OUTREACH COALITION, $18,750, to prevent homelessness of financially challenged individuals and families throughout Monroe County by providing emergency assistance. 
  • GOOD HEALTH CLINIC, $50,000, to expand free primary care and advanced medical care to low income residents through a satellite office in the Marathon area.
  • INDEPENDENCE CAY, $10,000, to operate a transitional shelter in the Middle Keys. 
  • KEYS AREA INTERDENOMINATIONAL RESOURCES, $40,000, to help Middle Keys families with obtaining or maintaining housing.

UWFK will also soon announce approximately $200,000 in additional hurricane funding to further support emergency assistance, disaster-related legal services, affordable housing, and other post-hurricane unmet needs.  Further details about UWFK’s hurricane relief efforts are available at KeysUnitedWay.org/hurricane-irma-relief-0.