Our Mission

To serve those in poverty by providing crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and placement, personal empowerment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers.

Our Purpose

To inspire and empower people living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency.

Our Vision

Communities where every family has access to basic needs, nutritional food, crisis care, education and employment training, and where everyone has the opportunity to achieve a future filled with hope and possibilities.

Our Values

  • Dignity
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Empowerment
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Partnership / Collaboration
  • Holistic Approach
about Us History

Organizational History

Noticing The Unnoticed

United Against Poverty (UP) was founded in 2003 by Austin and Ginny Hunt. A small member share grocery was opened in South Indian River County to serve those in need. The idea was to provide a hand up and not a hand out to people experiencing poverty. It was not a food bank but more of a co-op where people in need were able to maintain their dignity by paying for their own groceries. The need did not lessen, and in 2009, UP opened a new site and a second member share grocery was soon to follow. The economic downturn was at its worst and United Against Poverty was there with increased service. In the years since we have also expanded to Orlando and Fort Pierce helping people across the state receive access to needed programs and services. We continue to grow and chance providing innovative new programs to those below 200% of the federal poverty level. The need is very real in Indian River County and Vero Beach. United Against Poverty is here to stay.

Lifting Lives

Today, UP Indian River County (as our clients call us) has earned recognition as the busiest single-site social service agency in the state of Florida, serving an average of 650 individuals each day. Since UP’s Workforce Development Program’s inception in 2015, 250 participants have lifted themselves and their families from poverty as defined by the Federal Government, and 83 have lifted themselves into economic self-sufficiency (above 200% of the Federal Poverty level) in Indian River County.

UP’s Member Share Grocery Program saved users $5.1 million in 2020 for grocery and personal care products.  These savings can be redirected to basic necessities such as childcare, housing and utilities.

Programs Designed To Empower

Fundamentally, UP believes that providing people in need a “Hand Up” is the proper path to empower individuals to break the cycle of poverty.   This is a philosophical alternative to “one-way” giving, a model that has done little to impact poverty during the last 50 years.
about Us Empowered