Rescue plan

Marion County Nonprofits Receive American Rescue Plan Act Funding

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) — Three North Central Florida nonprofits have received a grant from the Marion County Commission. The funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

A total of $1.6 million in ARPA funds was awarded on Wednesday.

Pastor Rocky Shrable is the senior pastor of the Wings of Faith fellowship. He accepted $400,000 of the commission. It will be used to expand the church pantry, which has been in operation for over 20 years.

Pastor Shrable said he has seen an increase in the number of people asking for help.

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

Tears of joy and gratitude were shared at the ceremony by employees of The Rock program run by the nonprofit Empowered of Central Florida.

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

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

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

“Every student we are able to serve is one less student who is potentially in difficulty. Our goal is to let every student know they are loved,” Program Dir. for the Rock, said Amber Ellman.

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

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