Suncoast Credit Union, Florida’s largest credit union, will donate $550,000 to hunger and mental health organizations throughout Florida who have seen increased needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food organizations across Florida have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Organizations that will benefit from this round of funding include Meals of Hopes, United Food Bank of Plant City and the Harry Chapin Food Bank, all three of which have seen a 50% increase in demand this year. The credit union will donate $385,000 to food organizations to combat the needs.
These funds will allow the organizations to purchase food, help reduce operational costs, support in-school programs such as hot breakfast and lunches, weekend meals, and fill emergency food pantries.
Often overlooked, mental health has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, and Suncoast is pleased to contribute $165,000 to 11 National Alliance on Mental Illness affiliates throughout Florida.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 can lead to fear, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed. Social distancing can make people feel isolated and lonely, adding to the problem.
“COVID-19 has had serious implications on mental health throughout our nation, with research showing impact on individuals and relationships. We feel a moral obligation to support this serious issue,” said Suncoast Credit Union President & CEO Kevin Johnson. “This year has brought real struggles, challenges, and loss for so many, and we are committed to lifting our communities up and providing support for those who need it.”
NAMI affiliates throughout Florida have seen an increase in requests for all services and resources – for individuals, families, businesses and community partners. NAMI Pasco has received 4x the number of calls and 10x more emails this year compared to 2019.
A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in mid-July revealed that 53% of adults in the United States reported their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19. This is significantly higher than the 32% reported in March.
This donation is the second of its kind this year for Suncoast, following their $1 million donation to hunger, healthcare, and education organizations for COVID-19 relief efforts in May 2020.
In 1990, Suncoast Credit Union founded the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to benefit sick children and their families and to support educational initiatives. The foundation is a vehicle for Suncoast to support the communities served and assist residents who live there. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised and donated over $30 million to help provide a better future for the children of the communities Suncoast serves. In 2020, the foundation has given $3.2 million.