Palm Bay non-profit that provides fresh food to the community is asking for help to prevent closure
The Evans Center, located in Palm Bay, faces significant financial struggles and risks of permanently closing.
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The non-profit organization has been helping the community since 2019. However, COVID plus inflation is causing the organization to struggle financially.
The center has been working to improve the community’s quality of life with partnerships that provide job training, access to quality, affordable healthcare, fresh foods, and clean living.
Palm Bay Residents such as Connie Mcclary are concerned about what will happen if the center is forced to close its doors.
“My neighborhood watch is head of the read and feed program where we feed the children over the summertime, and avid is one of these classes. They do it on Mondays and Fridays here,” Mcclary said.
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The non-profit has become an essential part of the lives of Palm Bay residents such as Jesenia Perez, who works part-time at the center and community market.
“It’s a big part of my life. It’s a big part of my daughter’s life. My daughter’s best friend lives right across the street. They come here often for dinner,” Perez said.
The Evans Center is trying to raise $150,000 by May 15 to fund programming through the end of the year.
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Susan Phillips-Hardison is the community center director. She said that the financial struggles began with the pandemic.
“We started having some financial issues, or we started having issues when covid hit. And when covid hit, we did, unfortunately, have to shut down,” Phillips-Hardison said.
The organization still had to give back to the community. During COVID, they shut down the parking lot and became a mobile food station.
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According to Phillips-Hardison, they served over nine thousand meals in a short amount of time.
She also added that the non-profit relies on the market for revenue. With inflation, helping low and moderate-income families is becoming more challenging.
“We’ve had really great community forums where we were transparent and honest with the community, and people have gotten up to help,” Phillips-Hardison said.
The Evans Center is holding a block party and fundraiser this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those that can’t attend but are interested in donating can click here.
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