ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Food insecurity has easily become one of the top concerns over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need has been made even greater because the pandemic revealed already existing inequities.
What You Need To Know
- COVID exposes community needs made worse by pandemic
- Parramore resident forms nonprofit to try to help
- Change for the Community helps with youth mentors, scheduling vaccines
- Founder Shaniqua Rose says she works to "fill in the gap"
For those living paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by before, the pandemic forced unimaginable scenarios: Do I pay this bill or feed my family?
Father Charles Myers, the longtime pastor of The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, sees the need firsthand. He is white, his congregation is predominantly Black. But help at the church knows no color, as the church's little pantry expanded from feeding about 65 individuals per week to 250.
The pastor even drives meals directly to congregants' doors.
And there, each and every Wednesday, is someone else: Shaniqua Rose.
Rose grew up in Parramore, was homeless for a time, and now as a single mother, raises her son, still in Parramore.
She started a nonprofit called Change for the Community, where she mentors teens about 20 youths, connects seniors to vaccine appointments, and works on making her community a safer place by elevating germane issues.
Myers described Rose as a young leader and an inspiration to other church members.
She said she has taken this action because she has a "servant's heart."
Where there is a need, she said, "you fill in the gap."