ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — With thousands of furloughed Disney and hospitality workers in Central Florida, several groups and organizations have stepped forward to try to help those families in need.
What You Need To Know
- UNITE HERE Local 737 opened a food bank for laid-off Disney workers in May
- It is costing the group about $20,000 a week to feed the approximately 1,200 people who now rely on the food bank
- For more information on the food bank and how to volunteer or contribute, contact the Local 737 at 407-851-0626
UNITE HERE Local 737, a union for Disney workers started a food bank earlier in the year.
Officials with the Local 737 say their food bank is so low they just don’t know how much longer they will be able to provide help.
At the end of the month, furloughed Disney employee Sharon Ryan, won’t be waiting for a call back to work. She received a letter in the mail that she is being let go at the end of the month. Finding a new special place to work, has been a challenge.
“Twenty five years ago is when I hired on at Disney," said Ryan, who was a waitress at the Disney Castle. "I had to do a resume, what do you put on there? That I have been somewhere for 25 years?”
To help furloughed and laid-off employees like Ryan, UNITE HERE Local 737 launched a food Bank in May.
“When they started out with 200 (people), it was a lot of work," UNITE HERE Local 737 Trustee Sonja Flowers said. "We couldn’t believe how many, but now at 1,200 (people) every week, it goes more and more and more.”
Ryan not only volunteers to help the food bank and others, she’s one of the 1,200 who need it.
“It’s less money I have to put out," Ryan said from her porch. "Its less time I have to hit up my savings account.
Like Ryan, though, the Food Bank is running low.
“We’ve got Christmas coming up," Flowers said. "It would be heartbreaking if we weren’t able to do anything.”
The Local 737 is expecting at least another 1,200 cars at the weekly distribution this Saturday at their location off of La Quinta Drive in Orlando.
“It’s disheartening,” Flowers said, looking at a nearly empty food bank. "We need food."
And so do the hundreds of families who depend on this food bank each and every week.
According to UNITE HERE Local 737 officials, they are taking a big hit financially, spending about $20,000 a week to feed those in need. Not only do they need financial support and food donations, they can also use volunteers.
For more information on the food bank and how to volunteer or contribute, contact the Local 737 at 407-857-0737. This Saturday's distribution will be at their offices located at 1255 La Quinta Drive #212 in Orlando.