Poverello provides life-saving services and those services received much needed funding recently.

The organization was the recipient of a $10,000 grant award from Macy’s Foundation, said chief executive officer Tom Smith.

"We couldn’t survive without this,” said Smith, who has worked for the non-profit food pantry for 24 years.

Poverello is where people living with HIV/AIDS in Broward County can go for fresh and healthy food. There is also a 10,000-square foot thrift store inside the building with a fitness center. Located in Wilton Manors, Poverello services 2,400 clients a year.

“I started fundraising 24 years ago,” said Smith, who worked his way to CEO three years ago. “Everybody realizes we’re all intersected by HIV. It’s not just a gay disease, it either affects or effects you… and it’s not just gay men, but straight men and women and children.”

The grant award comes at a good time for the non-profit, which receives aid via the Ryan White federal government program, but those funds are limited. Smith said a Ryan White client can receive just 24 weeks of food assistance.

“Nobody can live on that,” Smith said.

The grant award from Macy’s, a retail corporate giant, will be used entirely on food, Smith added.

“They’ve always been supportive,” Smith said of Macy’s. “It’s good to have multiple funding sources and we’ve had a lot of support from the corporate world.”

Along with Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart, Publix and Winn Dixie have all made generous donations to Poverello in the past, Smith said.

If you would like to make a $10 donation to Poverello, text ‘EAT’ to 50555.

Visit www.Poverello.org for more information.John McDonald


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