Marion County non-profits granted American Rescue Plan Act funds

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Three north central Florida non-profits received grant money from the Marion County Commission. The funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

In total, $1.6 million dollars in ARPA funds were awarded Wednesday.

Pastor Rocky Shrableis the Lead Pastor at Wings of Faith fellowship. He accepted $400,000 from the commission. It’ll go towards helping expand the church’s food pantry, which has been in operation for more than 20 years.

Pastor Shrable said they’ve seen an uptick in people reaching out for help.

With these funds that they plan to expand their facility to include more refrigerated items. “We’re in severe need of a refrigerated truck. We’ve been researching that for some time and for our pantry itself, we have a building that we built. We finished that about five years ago, but having a walk-in refrigerator and freezer unit, that will help with the produce that we receive and pass on,” he said. With the refrigerated truck, they’ll be able to help meet more of the need in the rural areas of the county.

Tears of joy and gratefulness were shared during the ceremony by employees of The Rock program run by the non-profit Empowered of Central Florida.

Empowered of Central Florida works with multiple schools in Marion and Lake counties to help homeless and low-income students with school supplies, clothing, and hygiene items.

$400,000 will be split between the Rock program and the Wrestling Club.

The nonprofit currently serves nearly 10,000 students in Marion county. This funding will allow them to double the number of students they serve.

“Each student that we’re able to serve, that’s one less student that is potentially struggling. Our goal is to let every student know that they are loved,” Program Dir. for the Rock, Amber Ellman said.

His House for Her received $100,000 to aid their efforts to help women struggling with addiction.

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