Osceola County partnered with Osceola REDI in the summer of 2020 to raise funds to support food pantries in Osceola County due to the effects of COVID-19. Over the course of 18 months, Osceola REDI raised and distributed $63,200 to 20 local food pantries and partners serving 45,000 Osceola County residents.
From June 2020, Osceola REDI raised and distributed $63,200 to 20 local food pantries and partners. Through social media marketing and convening with businesses and individuals around this cause, Osceola REDI and local food pantries were able to serve 45,000 people to families in Osceola County.
Warren Hougland, Senior VP for Community Action Services at Osceola Council on Aging stated, “[We’re] so thankful for the generous donation that has helped us stock the St. Cloud food pantry with nonperishable food items. This food will help feed the hungry and at-risk populations in St. Cloud. We are blessed to have received your help and support.”
In March 2020, Osceola County recorded a 60% increase in food pantry distribution, with 55% of residents visiting food pantries are out of work due to COVID-19. On average, before COVID-19, it took $4,000 to $5,000 to run just one food pantry in Osceola County for an entire month. After communicating with food pantries and area agencies, Osceola REDI aimed to raise funds to supply and support food pantries within Osceola County.
“The Feeding Osceola effort was a testament to the ‘can do’ spirit Osceola County is known for. Even in the darkest of times, our community banded together to support one another and show up to provide the most basic of needs… making sure our fellow residents had food on the table. Though this campaign may be over, Osceola REDI is prepared to answer the next call for service.” Sue Ring, secretary of Osceola REDI.
Osceola REDI was formed in January 2015 and is a coalition of faith-based and non-profit organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, and individuals dedicated to assisting those who have been victims of disaster by pooling community resources and assistance. Individuals and households are key starting points for emergency preparedness and support for community recovery efforts. Osceola REDI is designed to be a grassroots entity working with the local government to ensure citizens’ needs are met and ensure Osceola County returns to normalcy as quickly as possible. For more information about Osceola REDI, please visit www.osceolaredi.org.