Gilbert Vasquez moved to Key West four years ago from New Mexico with his niece. He found a steady job working in boatyards, until a stroke rendered him physically unable to perform hard, manual labor. He describes,
The SOS food pantry saved us. My stroke really affected my hands and motor skills, and I was unable to support us. I come to the food pantry once a week, and it helps put food on the table and keeps us from going without. Everyone is so nice and respectful to me here, and I am thankful to have this place. I can not only feed myself and my niece but can also get food for my cat, Jack.
Gilbert visits the SOS food pantry once a week but hopes to get back into the workforce as soon as possible.
This food pantry is here for me if I need it, and that's a blessing.
Laura, a social worker, volunteers with SOS to continue making a difference in people's lives every day.
I always knew that when my clients came to the food pantry, they'd be taken care of. People come to the SOS food pantry and they're always treated nicely. Everyone deserves respect. SOS is special because we give people the right to choose to want they want. They are able to find exactly what they need and we develop a personal relationship with them along the way, and that's really special.
40% of the food in the United States never reaches the dinner table and is thrown into the environment to decompose and lose its value. Utilizing food that would otherwise be wasted is the most efficient way to address the epidemic of hunger facing our community, and since 2006 the Star of the Sea Outreach Mission has been recovering this perfectly edible food and redirecting it to dinner tables, resulting in over 3 million pounds of food to be utilized. With the food that can't be recovered, we have high efforts in composting the produce (as shown in the above image), through a partnership with the GLEE Community Garden in Key West, FL.
Noutchy (to the left) and her friend Deb (to the right) visited the SOS food pantry to stock up on fresh produce! Little Noutchy loves SOS because she can always find pretty clothes, notebooks, and pencils to prepare for the school year. Did you know that the SOS food bank also distributes clothing, pet food, and house supplies?
With over half of Monroe County residents struggling with the cost of living and lack of affordable housing, the SOS Foundations steps in to ensure that all families or individuals have the food support they need so they can concentrate on other aspects of life that will help them reach their goal of lifting out of poverty.
The SOS Foundation
SOS Impacting the Community
The SOS Foundation alone in 2016 has distributed over 1.8 million pounds of food to the working poor throughout Monroe County. Allowing our clients to have the supplemental nutrition they need at no cost, so they can afford their rent, bills, or any other expenses. Resulting in growth to our local economy. In addition, the SOS Foundation has a yearly fundraiser called the Casino Night gala which has high net gains for the non-profit allowing SOS to continue assisting the community.
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The SOS Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. Donations and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.