United Way and Wells Fargo Partner to Fight Food Insecurity in Orange County
One in six Orange County children are at risk of going hungry each day.
Without access to healthy foods, these children are at a huge disadvantage. Who can concentrate on a test when their stomach is growling?
Through its Healthy Food Provision program, Orange County United Way is addressing food insecurity with sustainable food distribution programs that bring affordable, quality, fresh food to those who need it most.
United Way has committed to providing more than 1.6 million pounds of nutritious produce and food options and serving 688,000 individuals in need this year.
To join us in this important work, Wells Fargo has awarded United Way with a $173,600 grant to expand the Healthy Food Provision program and increase accessibility of healthy foods for low-income individuals and families in Orange County.
“There is a critical need for increasing access to healthy food options as one in six Orange County children are at risk of going hungry each day,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO, Orange County United Way. “We are grateful for Wells Fargo’s support of our Healthy Food Provision program and for joining us in the fight to ensure all Orange County families have access to wholesome meals.”
The grant supports United Way’s unique partnership with Orange County’s two food banks, Orange County Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank. The innovative partnership provides O.C. residents with opportunities to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables through various distribution channels, including school- and community-based pantries, pop-up farmers’ markets, and several mobile food pantries.
The funding significantly supports the Healthy Food Provision program, providing more than 40 percent of the annual budget needed to operate the program and serve hundreds of thousands in need.
Doing More For Local Families in Need
Sylvia and her husband are raising three children in Orange County. They currently have one child in college, one in high school and the youngest in elementary school. With rising rent costs and her husband experiencing fewer work hours, Sylvia and her family were really feeling the strain, and buying essentials like milk and healthy produce became harder and harder to do.
When Sylvia’s oldest child offered to drop out of college to get a job and contribute to their income, Sylvia knew she needed to find extra help. That’s when she learned about United Way’s Healthy Food Provision program.
Today, Sylvia brings home fresh, healthy produce for her family – all at no cost. Without the stress of having to purchase these often expensive essentials, Sylvia and her husband are able to better budget, pay bills, and make sure their children stay and succeed in school.
Sylvia says, “We’ve been through hard times. We needed milk, but had no money to buy it.” Sylvia was worried when her oldest offered to drop out of school to help the family – something she adamantly did not want to happen.
“We tell them, ‘We want you to study, to have a better life than the one we are able to give you now, to have more possibilities,’” continued Sylvia. “It’s important that they work at their studies, and it is easier with a full stomach.”
Sylvia is just one example of the many people in Orange County who benefit from United Way’s Healthy Food Provision program.
Partnerships – like this one with Wells Fargo – are vital to ensuring everyone in our community has access to healthy, wholesome meals.
Orange County United Way is addressing food insecurity with sustainable food distribution programs that bring affordable, quality, fresh food to those who need it most. With the help of numerous partners like Wells Fargo, the Healthy Food Provision program increases accessibility of healthy foods for low-income individuals and families in Orange County. Are you ready to do more to ensure every family in O.C. has access to wholesome meals?
Orange County United Way is Solving Problems in the Community
United Way fights for the education, health, housing and financial stability of every person in Orange County. We are doing more than raising funds, we are transforming our community. If you are looking for ways to help, learn how to get involved or sign up for our monthly newsletter.