The Osceola County Food Angels is a group of full-time working ladies, as well as students ranging from elementary to high school who were made aware that there was a need in the community and volunteered. This organization began September of 2014 during a monthly Osceola County School District Business Partner meeting. This is an event where the schools and the local businesses come together in support of each other. Yet the main aim is ensuring the students receive the support needed to be successful. During one of these meetings, Judy Alexander, the SDOC Partners in Education Specialist began to discuss the FIT (family in transition) program within the school district. This program caters to the students who are deemed homeless. Mrs. Alexander began to explain that this county alone had over 4700 homeless students. At the time, she was seeking volunteers to head up the food drive program to assist the schools with providing non-perishable foods and snacks over the weekend called the Backpack Project.
Without hesitation, Mickie Starlard and Tamara Ault stepped up to the plate. However, these ladies did not feel this was enough. Ms. Starlard knew that these students only received food during the school session; which meant free breakfast and lunch offered to all students, and then a backpack of food for FIT students on Fridays. Food over long holidays, such as Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break were needed. This is how the Osceola County Food Angels was born. To date they have ten members strong, with even more help from various schools and other groups. The core people within this organization are Mickie Starlard (Five Guys Burger & Fries), Tamara Ault (Firehouse Subs), Evon Hofmann (McDonald’s Corp.), Trisha Roof (McDonald’s Corp.), Judi Lowell (Osceola County School for the Arts) and Aida DelMoral (Neptune Middle School).
From car washes, monetary donation drives, and Facebook posts to keep the community aware of their need and progress, to generous food drive donations from students of Osceola County Schools and from many businesses in both Orange and Osceola County the Angels are well on their way to feeding students. They would be remiss not mention the incredible generosity of Belgium Butter, Nut and Candy Company in St. Cloud, who have provided 160 cases of peanut butter yearly. As well as boxes that they use to package the donations, and the amazing donation of a storage location at Plaza Del Sol Mall off of US 192. They permit the Food Angels the use of this space absolutely free of cost.
But this will be a never-ending process for Mickie, Tamara and Evon. The passion and dedication these ladies have shown, along with their team, is nothing short of amazing, honorable and a blessing. Under the Green Bag Project 501 3(c), this group has done and continues to feed the students in Osceola County. They know the students are in their situation by no fault of their own. With the help of the community they could make a positive difference in the lives of these students. If you would like to help, the most needed items are canned tuna, canned beans and soups, veggies, ravioli and cereal. You can like also them on Facebook, (Osceola County Food Angels) or contact Mickie Starlard directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.