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Press Release July 14, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2021

THE FLORIDA KEYS OUTREACH COALITION, INC. RECIEVES GRANTS FROM UNITED WAY OF COLLIER AND THE KEYS TO SUPPORT OUR LOAVES & FISH FOOD PANTRY AND TO ASSIST WITH BASIC NEEDS THROUGH OUR QUICK ASSIST PROGRAM

Monroe County, FL – FKOC received two grants totaling $19,375.00 from the United Way of Collier and the Keys to support the Loaves & Fish Food Pantry ($6,375.) and the Quick Assist Program ($13,000.) for 2021-2022.

With 2020-2021 funding, FKOC received $8,500.00 to support the Loaves & Fish Food Pantry. We served 3,620 of our community members with food and personal care items. This far exceeded our projected goal of 1, 025. This would not have been possible without the support of our staff and numerous volunteers bagging and distributing groceries, delivering meals and operating 7 days a week.

Our Quick Assist Prevention Program was funded in the amount of $18,000.00. in 2020-2021. With these funds, we were able to keep 233 of our neighbors housed, their lights on and meet their other basic needs throughout the Keys. FKOC was inundated with phone calls requesting assistance and without our many dedicated volunteers this would have been impossible to manage. These individuals and families are the “working poor” in our community. Many of whom are in the service industry just barely getting by. Over this last year with the pandemic, these folks were the hardest hit and are still struggling financially.

The need for prevention services is still prevalent in Monroe County as evidenced by the number of calls we receive for assistance and numbers we were unable to assist in the Quick Assist Program with previous funds. The Loaves & Fish food pantry continues to have an increased number of individuals and households seeking food assistance.
“It is truly amazing what can be accomplished when a community works together particularly in difficult times and our partnership with United Way of Collier and the Keys has demonstrated just that,” says Ms. McLernon.

About the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Inc.
Mission Statement: Our Mission is to provide homeless individuals and families with the resources and opportunities by which to attain residential, financial and personal stability and self-sufficiency. The FKOC further seeks to address the underlying causes of homelessness and work toward its elimination in Monroe County, Florida.

FKOC has been operating in Monroe County for 29 years and remains the largest homeless service provider. As such, we have homeless prevention outreach offices in both Key West and the Upper Keys, a community food pantry, housing related services and a continuum of housing including rapid re-housing, emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing for individuals and families. We are the only housing provider serving adults with a mental health diagnosis in permanent supportive housing in Monroe County.

About United Way of Collier and the Keys
The United Way of Collier and the Keys is committed to investing in and working to create a community where all individuals and families in Collier and Monroe Counties have an opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential. UWCK will accomplish this through improving education, economic stability and health, as well as by providing access to food and safety-net services. United Way plays a unique role in convening businesses, non-profits and government to work together to address community needs.

Contact for Photos and Additional Information:
Jeanette McLernon, Executive Director
Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Inc.
jmclernon@fkoc.org
305-293-8189
P.O. Box 4767, Key West, FL 33040