This month, “Supporting Hearts,” formerly known as Feed the Need, will be kicking off their first fundraising campaign to continue providing meal assistance to Central Florida’s performers who are unemployed due to the pandemic.
Supporting Hearts is an outreach initiative by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and was established to help distribute food and meals to those in Central Florida’s arts community during their time of need.
“Our goal has been to celebrate our local arts community and entertainment professionals,” said Steve Fessler, one of the program’s founding partners. “It is not about a handout; it is about celebrating them and providing some food to nourish them while they are temporarily down. They have fed our souls for so long that [it’s] time that we, as a community, step up and give back to our arts and entertainment professionals in a meaningful way.”
Yanette Moyano, a member of the Supporting Hearts Development Committee, added, “The performers and technical professionals who support the shows are what make every encounter at our venues magical. We hope local residents as well as people from around the world remember how they felt watching live shows in Central Florida’s theme parks and entertainment venues and will join our mission to give back to the entertainment family who have given us so much through the years.”
“Many of us in the entertainment/gig business have lived, for years, paycheck to paycheck and without benefits, because art is our passion and our calling,” said Andra Canny, an Orlando performer. “But, none of us imagined we would one day rely on the kindness of strangers to provide us with healthy food to fill our refrigerators and stomachs. Though, that is exactly what the people behind St. Luke’s [Supporting Hearts] food distribution have provided for us during this pandemic. With our industry all but completely decimated, we are using what tiny savings and unemployment funds we have to keep a roof over our heads and the lights on, but this food is keeping us alive and fed.”
If you want to help provide food security for Central Florida’s arts and entertainment professionals, you can donate at SupportingHeartsOrlando.com.