A Message from Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses
A group of volunteers from the UCF and Valencia College Downtown Campus partnered with several nonprofits and other local officials and entities to distribute groceries and meals to hundreds of residents of the Parramore community.
The effort, which took place at the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) on Thursday, June 11, 2020, involved approximately 60 volunteers, 20 of which are employees of the Downtown Campus. In all, they fed more than 1,200 residents in a drive-thru that saw more than 500 vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis.
The event was hosted by the Parramore Community Engagement Council and the office of Rep. Bruce Antone. Other participants included Farm Share — which was the main food provider —Bright Community Trust and Feed the Need Florida.
“One of the founding principles of the Downtown Campus is to be of the community, not just in the community,” said Eugene Jones, executive dean, Downtown Campus. “Our partnership with Farm Share is just one of the many ways we look to bring resources to the community and we were very proud to be a part of the food sharing.”
Volunteers arrived at 7 a.m. to help set up the distribution site, unload and organize items from a Farm Share trailer and other items purchased from Second Harvest Food Bank. They also organized meals from Feed the Need. Site cleanup took place at approximately 2 p.m.
“This initiative was organized to address food need to the residents in and around the Parramore,” said Elizabeth Thompson, director, Downtown Campus Community Engagement. “During this time when families and employment may be impacted by economic shutdown as a result of COVID-19, it was great to provide groceries and meals to more than 500 cars and more than 1,200 people.”