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Building Success

United Against Poverty teaches people “how to fish”

Bernie Kastory, chairman of United Against Poverty’s corporate board; Barbara Lowry, chairman of the UAP Indian River County board; Annabel Robertson, executive director; Austin Hunt, CEO and founder; and Don Drinkard, chairman of Lifting Lives Capital Campaign

Bernie Kastory, chairman of United Against Poverty’s corporate board; Barbara Lowry, chairman of the UAP Indian River County board; Annabel Robertson, executive director; Austin Hunt, CEO and founder; and Don Drinkard, chairman of Lifting Lives Capital Campaign

We’ve all heard the proverb: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

That’s exactly what United Against Poverty (UAP) is all about — helping people stabilize during crisis, then thrive — and step up out of poverty toward economic self-sufficiency.

Not only does UAP offer a nonprofit grocery program where members save 60 to 70 percent off food and household products; they also embrace the lofty goal to transform lives. And it’s being accomplished through an innovative curriculum that’s been developed by executive director Annabel Robertson and staff who have a passion for equipping their participants — economically, physically and emotionally — for success and independence.

“We are not a food bank,” says CEO and founder Austin Hunt. “We never were.” Formerly named Harvest Food and Outreach Center, UAP is the dream-child of Hunt and his wife, Ginny, who opened the first Harvest Food and Outreach Center in south Vero Beach in 2003.

“Ginny and I grew up in Vero. Ginny lived in a single-parent home. My parents would have been considered part of the working poor. Our parents never sought financial aid from the government. But they would have welcomed a place like UAP that offers subsidized groceries, which helps stretch dollars to pay for the mortgage, rent, utilities, gas and other necessities.”