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UNITE HERE 737 Asks for Help to Feed Some Two Thousand Theme Park Workers And Their Families

Photo: Maria Lin Kim

UNITE HERE Local 737 says they’ve stopped getting donations from a federal food box program which was feeding some 2,000 theme park workers and their families. 

In November, federal funding for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program was cut. 

Local 737 relied on this program to provide 3,900 boxes of food a week to theme park workers in Orlando and Kissimmee since May. 

Now President Jeremy Haicken says they’ll have to raise some 30,000 dollars a week to make up the difference.

“But we’re going to continue. We actually have a team of volunteers in the office right now packing about 2,000 bags of dry goods. And our plan is to raise enough money to continue this program indefinitely. We have no plans on stopping.”

Haicken says the union is calling on Congress to pass a second round of coronavirus relief to support hospitality workers in the region. 

He says right now they’re relying on member funds and other fundraised dollars to keep the food assistance program going.

“So, where the federal government fails the union is going to step in and do what we do which is get people together and help each other out.”

The next food distribution event will take place at the Seasons Florida Resort in Kissimmee tomorrow at 7 am. 

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »