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Matthew’s Hope: People Serving People

Matthew’s Hope Ministries is calling on the community to help restock its food pantry as an influx of requests for help have quickly left the shelves nearly bare. Since 2010, the faith-based nonprofit organization has worked to successfully move people from homelessness to a life of independence and self-sustainability through a variety of assistance options, programs and resources.

Based in Winter Garden, volunteers connect Matthew’s Hope guests with the resources and services they need to get back on their feet. They also offer showers, haircuts, clothing, shoes, hygiene products and so much more.

The Garden of Eatin’ food pantry serves the most basic food needs of every guest who arrives between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for Tuesday Outreach Services Day each week. Guests are provided with $5 in Matthew’s Hope “money” to spend in the pantry, and they are invited to participate in various work opportunities through the Moving Forward Program to earn more.

Matthew’s Hope has seen a 21% jump in the number of people served this spring. Volunteers welcomed 77 new individuals on top of the 300 to 400 people that are served on a regular basis. Many are the working homeless who can’t find affordable housing and aren’t paid a high enough wage (or provided the work hours needed) to support themselves and their families.

Due to the increase in need for the food, hygiene and clothing pantries, the shelves aren’t as full as they once were. Help is needed to restock so the organization can continue providing this much-needed service to all of those who need it within the community. Some of the most needed food items include Vienna sausages, Spam, canned chicken, canned ham, canned pastas, canned fruits, chili, Ramen noodles, spinach, peas, baked beans and potatoes.

Founder Scott Billue asks residents to consider participating in a BOGO (buy one meal for your family and also get one for a Matthew’s Hope family), donating monetarily or organizing a food drive with your church, school, office, civic group or neighborhood. Every contribution makes a difference to individuals and families who have found themselves homeless right here in our community.

Donations can be delivered to Matthew’s Hope at 611 Business Park Boulevard, Suite 101, located just off of Story Road in Winter Garden. You can also order using AmazonSmile.com, name Matthew’s Hope Ministries as your charity and the organization will receive your donation.

How You Can Help

Due to COVID-19, Matthew’s Hope is running out of items six times faster than normal. They are in need of a variety of donations, including jeans, t-shirts, underwear, travel-sized personal hygiene items and nonperishable food items such as ramen noodles and canned meats.

Donations can be delivered or shipped to 611 Business Park Boulevard, $101, Winter Garden, FL 34787 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday or by appointment. Monetary donations can be made at www.MatthewsHopeMinistries.com or by texting MHM to 41444.

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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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