Local letter carriers collect more than 68,000 pounds of food to Stamp Out Hunger

Local letter carriers collect more than 68,000 pounds of food to Stamp Out Hunger

US Postal Service workers usually drop off items, but on Saturday, May 13, they picked up items — more than 68,000 pounds of non-perishable items — from mailboxes throughout Martin County.

Stamp Out Hunger is an annual tradition across the country. It was started in 1993 by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and has helped feed millions of American over three decades.

Each May, local letter carriers willingly pick up the bags of items that residents leave by their mailboxes and transport them back to their post office branch. From there, dozens of House of Hope volunteers helped unload the bags and put the items in bins. Additional volunteers pick up the bins in trucks and transport them back to House of Hope’s main office.

“We can’t say enough good things about our local letter carriers,” said House of Hope CEO Rob Ranieri. “In addition to their real jobs of delivering the mail, on Stamp Out Hunger Saturday, they also gather, lift, and transport cans and boxes of food to help their friends and neighbors in need. We’re grateful to them and to every resident who donated.

House of Hope continues to see more and more families and individuals who need food assistance. “Between the after-effects of the pandemic and the rise in the cost of basic items like food,” Ranieri said, “our services are more in demand than ever.

The food collected during the Stamp Out Hunger drive will be used at the House of Hope service centers in Stuart, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound and Indiantown and will be shared with House of Hope food bank partners.


About House of Hope

Founded in 1984, House of Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. House of Hope touches the lives of more than 7,000 people each month helping with basic needs such as food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, as well as longer-term case management services that help build life skills for a more self-sufficient future. The organization has service centers in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, and Jensen Beach, and Thrift Shops in South Stuart, Hobe Sound and Indiantown. House of Hope’s Enrichment Centers in Stuart and Jensen Beach offer free programs, technology, and workshops designed to enhance life skills, earning potential, health, and overall well-being. House of Hope also operates the Growing Hope Farm in Palm City and several nutrition gardens that provide sustainable sources of fresh produce for clients as well as nutrition education and vocational opportunities to the community. For more information, visit hohmartin.org or call 772-286-4673. Updates and announcements can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Hohmartin, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/houseofhopemc/, and Twitter https://twitter.com/hohmartin.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jun. 1, 2023|

Thrivent hosts “April Showers”

Thrivent  hosts “April Showers”

For many years, Helping People Succeed has coordinated a month-long “Baby Showers” during the month of April, seeking baby necessities for families in need. As a special treat, Thrivent will host a brunch on April 29 from 10 a.m.-noon at Helping People Succeed headquarters, 1601 NE Braille Place, Jensen Beach, for anyone wishing to donate a shower gift for a newborn. RSVP at 772-408-1771.

“April Showers” collection boxes are placed in businesses throughout Martin and Okeechobee counties to be filled with such infant-related things as developmental toys, baby clothing, rattles, books, diapers and wipes.

The contributed items will benefit children and families served through Helping People Succeed’s Healthy Families program, which offers support and services to families who may be experiencing stress in their lives that makes parenting more challenging.

These services are offered through home visits with a Family Support Specialist which may start before or shortly after the birth of a baby, and can continue until the child’s fifth birthday.  The “April Showers” drive allows the community to provide these much-needed items to families who, in many cases, won’t have a traditional baby shower.

Martin County locations for “April Showers” boxes are:

  • All Creatures Animal Hospital
  • Beachcomber Hair Salon
  • Becker Insurance Company
  • Brightway Insurance, The Moody Agency
  • Kimberly Dettori, DDS, MA, PA
  • Harbor Wear of Stuart
  • Helping People Succeed
  • Kinane Corporation
  • Martin County Clerk of the Court
  • Realty ONE Group Engage, Jensen Beach
  • Realty ONE Group Engage, Stuart
  • Sandhill Cove Retirement Living
  • Thrivent in Jensen Beach
  • Tootsies
  • Twinkles Jewelry & Gifts

Okeechobee locations for “April Showers” boxes are:

  • Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce
  • Optical Gallery
  • PNC Bank
  • Rock Solid Christian Academy
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • Lollie’s Hamper

A wish list and a list of these businesses along with addresses, can be found at www.hpsfl.org. April Showers will run through April 30th.  For information or to make a contribution, contact Glenna Parris at 772-320-0778 or [email protected].

Helping People Succeed is a local nonprofit organization that has been serving the Treasure Coast for more than 59 years. Through its diversified, effective program services Helping People Succeed serves, on average, 8,000 children and adults per year. Helping People Succeed transforms lives by realizing potential, creating hope and building futures through education, counseling, training and employment.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 6, 2023|

Dyer Difference Award Helps Children in Crisis

Dyer Difference Award Helps Children in Crisis


John Dyer and Jonathan Holmes present the December Dyer Difference Award to Debbie Butler of Guardians for New Futures.

A sad reality of life in 2022 is that there are children among us who have been victims of sexual and physical abuse by the very people they trust and love more than anyone in the world. Understandably, removing a child from a dangerous living situation is simply not enough. That’s where Guardians for New Futures and the recently opened Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) come in. The CAC serves children throughout the 19th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties and provides a multidisciplinary team of professionals to coordinate all the necessary resources and services that child might need at the most difficult time. By combining all the services in one place and with one cohesive team of professionals, a child who has already been traumatized can choose to share the story just once in a setting that is designed to be comfortable and child-focused. Since opening the doors in July, CAC has already served nearly 200 sexually and physically abused children, and is on track to serve approximately 1,200 each year. The Dyer Difference Award will help aid in the creation of a Healing Garden on site.

Toys for Tots Coordinator Star Knudson accepts the Dyer Difference Award from General Manager Jonathan Hardie.

Even during the happiest season of the year, we all need a little magic to believe in, especially those among us who are most tender of age. In Indian River County, the spirit of Christmas lasts all year long, and there is no question at all about the existence of Santa and Christmas miracles. Last year, Toys for Tots of Indian River County distributed more than 52,000 toys and helped make Christmas a little brighter for 8,269 children. Since its inception in 1947, the Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program has been providing holiday toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive them. Seventy-five years later, the need is larger than ever to help children throughout Indian River County, and volunteers have been working hard all year long to meet the needs and create a few Christmas miracles right in our own backyard.

The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations made monthly between the St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit www.dyerdifference.org or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Dec. 23, 2022|

Florida Power & Light donates $50,000 to support Florida SBDC disaster recovery efforts

FPL donates $50,000 to support Florida SBDC disaster recovery efforts



The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, is committed to ensuring that small business owners impacted by Hurricane Ian receive the resources and assistance they need to rebuild and recover. The network is pleased to announce that Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has provided the Florida SBDC with $50,000 to support the network’s continued efforts to help small businesses impacted by the storm.

“Since Ian first impacted our state, our network has been hard at work helping small businesses access the resources they need to rebuild and reopen,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network. “We are so appreciative of FPL’s support and their commitment to small businesses. It is through their generous support that we are able to continue to do the important work we do to help businesses recover.”

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida as one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the United States. The powerful storm has caused widespread damage to small business owners across the state.

The Florida SBDC Network serves as part of the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF-18) for Business and Industry. In this role, the network plays an integral role following a disaster in helping coordinate recovery efforts and helping small business owners apply for disaster assistance.

In partnership with the SBA, state, and local partners, the network has opened and staffed Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) in hard-hit communities where impacted business owners can come for in-person assistance in understanding and applying for state and federal disaster loans. The Florida SBDC has also deployed its fleet of mobile assistance centers (MACs) - a fleet of recovery vehicles - into communities to establish BRCs where physical facilities are not easily available. MACs have been on the ground in the impacted area since immediately after the storm. These mobile units have brought support to eleven counties, helping to facilitate over 2,100 hours of service provided to impacted business owners through consulting at mobile and fixed site business recovery centers.

Florida Power & Light Company’s donation enables the network to extend its MAC and staff deployment in the field to support long-term recovery efforts, ensuring small business owners have access to critical resources

“I believe Florida’s SBDC is the best small business support network in the country,” said Pamela Rauch, vice president of external affairs and economic development for FPL. “They have been on the ground for more than a month in those areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ian and we’re happy to help them extend that support. Small businesses are the foundation of Florida’s economy and getting them back on their feet is critical to rebuilding not just the regions affected by the storm but the entire state.”

FPL’s Office of Economic Development works to attract new and expanding companies and capital investment to the state by providing Infrastructure assessments, energy rate quotes, information on energy efficiency programs and more. FPL also provides a small business tool to help companies identify and map potential customers and suppliers, and map demographics, labor force and consumer expenditure data. 

For more information on how the network is helping small businesses recover from Hurricane Ian, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/disaster.


About the Florida SBDC Network:

For more than 45 years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy. In 2021, the Florida SBDC Network delivered more than 157,000 hours of consulting to more than 18,000 small business clients – resulting in business owners securing over half a billion in capital, securing more than $380 million in government contracts, impacting 28,930 jobs, increasing sales by over $4 billion, and creating 778 new businesses.

With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.



Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Nov. 25, 2022|

Underserved communities banking on businesses to help wipe out hunger

Underserved communities banking on businesses to help wipe out hunger

Tammy Matthew — Market Executive, Bank of America Treasure Coast

Tammy Matthew has worked in the financial services industry for more than 25 years. In her role as the market executive for Bank of America, she leads the market’s business, civic and philanthropic activities and oversees the bank’s business engagement and growth on the Treasure Coast.

More than 12% of Florida residents are facing food insecurity, according to Feeding America. This means the chances are high that you know someone suffering from food scarcity, even if you don’t realize it. More than 2.5 million Floridians live in households without consistent access to food and more than 700,000 are children.

Taking a closer look at the Treasure Coast, Indian River and St. Lucie counties share even higher rates of insecurity than the state average and the prevalence among children is significantly greater at more than 22%.

Hunger is complex and exacerbates other issues faced by underserved communities. Estimates show that hunger results in more than $4 billion of additional annual healthcare costs for Florida, and more than $126 million on the Treasure Coast, through increased illness and decreased academic achievement.

Food insecurity is a compounding issue, creating ripple effects that weaken the labor force and limit the academic potential of children. Yet, as the pandemic continues, hunger relief organizations in the Treasure Coast and across the country are facing ongoing challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to address this issue, such as increased demand for their services and rising food prices.

As members of the Treasure Coast community, it’s important that local business leaders are aware of vital organizations like the Treasure Coast Food Bank, that are lifelines to residents who may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Solutions exist to bridge the hunger gap, including community cohorts, school programs, and awareness campaigns to connect those in need to available resources, but programs like these need financial support — estimates indicate more than $1.4 billion more per year is needed to adequately meet food needs in Florida.

While the magnitude of need and funding requirements may seem daunting, they are surmountable when people work together. Supporting health and wellness has always been part of Bank of America’s commitment to the communities it serves. Bank officials are happy to share that the Treasure Coast Food Bank has received $25,000 in honor of their employees who shared that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Nationally, the bank has committed $10.6 million in donations to local food banks.

The impact of the donations is sizable, meaning that its booster donations will provide thousands of meals to Treasure Coast residents across the three counties Bank of America serves. The bank has been a longtime partner of the Treasure Coast Food Bank, donating more than $265,000 to the organization and participating in volunteer efforts, including warehouse sorting and packing as well as Better Money Habits presentations.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bank of America has also provided support across the region to the hunger relief efforts of House of Hope, Sarah’s Kitchen of the Treasure Coast, and the Council on Aging of Martin County.

Furthermore, the bank donated 398,000 masks, 1,122 hand sanitizers, 202,000 pairs of gloves and other PPE equipment to help local nonprofits address critical issues affecting the community beyond food insecurity.

Today the financial institution applauds its employees who participated in its shared commitment to protect and serve their communities. It also encourages the Treasure Coast’s business community to find ways to support both employee and community wellness. We all win when we work together to create a better tomorrow for Florida today.

See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 19, 2022|