The 2019 ALICE report released from United Way in partnership with Rutgers University showed the number of low-income families in Indian River County grew by 13% between 2010 and 2016, despite the unemployment rate dropping and wages rising. While there is still a lot of work to be done to continue to make our community better, we are happy to have participated in the celebration for the groundbreaking for retrofitting the 42,000 square foot former citrus house that took place on April 16th. Things are looking “UP” for Indian River County households struggling to make ends meet. After visiting the building at the time of our philanthropy field trip in the Spring of 2018, it was exciting to be a part of the groundbreaking celebration, especially after Annabel Robertson, Executive Director, announced the campaign goal completion. The homestretch gift was made by the Leo and Peggy Pierce Foundation. Once the building is refurbished, some examples of impact of the new UP Center will have in the community, including the STEP program initially funded through a competitive grant through IRCF, will be tripling the STEP program number of people employed each year and double the Member Share Grocery capacity to serve 1,000 families per day. The new UP Center will also provide a one stop resource center with space for up to 15 partner agencies, all working to lift themselves out of poverty.
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