In its fifth consecutive year, the Heart of Florida United Way’s Thanksgiving Project continues to make a significant impact in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. This annual initiative, dedicated to supporting ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families, has grown exponentially, reflecting a community united in the spirit of giving and compassion.
This year, HFUW distributed 4,000 meal kits to families in need — feeding 16,000 people in total as each kit feeds four people.
Each Thanksgiving meal kit distributed is valued at approximately $55. Packed with shelf-stable holiday staples, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, gravy mix, apple cobbler mix, a roasting pan, and cranberry sauce. The kits also contained a $30 grocery gift card. This thoughtful combination allows families to customize their meals according to their preferences and dietary needs.
Beyond the holiday season, the Thanksgiving Project goes a step further by including a resource folder with agency information for year-round assistance. This comprehensive approach ensures that families facing financial challenges have access to the support they need — not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year.
The success of the Thanksgiving Project wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of over 900 volunteers, spanning generations and ranging from 4-year-olds to 94-year-olds.
Our HFUW Volunteer Resource Center team is proud to have created a family-friendly volunteering experience that brings back families year after year. Our volunteers are the backbone of the project, we couldn’t be more grateful for their selfless contributions.
The project is also made possible by our generous volunteers and sponsors. Companies such as Smart City Telecom, The Walt Disney Company, Walmart, Publix Super Markets Charities, Dezerland Park Orlando, Orlando Health, Fairwinds Credit Union, RICOH, Valencia College, Seminole State College, and RTW Photography have played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of this impactful initiative.
As the Heart of Florida United Way’s Thanksgiving Project continues to grow and evolve, it exemplifies the power of community coming together to make a positive impact on the lives of those facing economic challenges. The 2023 edition of this annual initiative serves as a testament to the strength of unity, compassion, and the enduring spirit of giving in Central Florida.
Thank you to EVERYONE who made this possible!