Nearly $100M Invested in Valley Poverty Programming This Year Through Valley of the Sun United Way

Posted By on November 21, 2018

Valley of the Sun United Way has announced that it has invested nearly $100 million into Maricopa County over the last fiscal year in an effort to end poverty.

“We are incredibly proud of the strides we’ve made in the fight against poverty this year,” said president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way Merl Waschler. “There are far too many families facing economic hardship in Maricopa County and we look forward to continuing to our efforts by supporting children and their families as well as the neighborhoods that need our support most.”

Arizona faces the fifth highest poverty rate in the nation, according to United Way. A total of approximately 667,000 people experience poverty in Maricopa County, and one in every four Arizona children lives in poverty.

In addition to its financial investment, the organization has engaged 5,000 volunteers, 90,000 donors, 400 corporate partners and 1,000 nonprofit beneficiaries. Its efforts are primarily in the areas of child hunger, financial stability for families, education and community improvement.

Notable programs include Breakfast in the Classroom, which served 61,000 Valley children; WeekEnd Hunger backpacks, which provided 900,000 meals and online tutoring program Vello, which showed and 83 percent success rate. Additionally, its Thriving Together initiative helped more than 2,500 students within Phoenix Union High School District enroll in postsecondary education in 2017. And, through the United Way’s school readiness programs, more than 55,000 kids took part in high-quality early learning programs.

Other contributions included school readiness initiatives, educational programming, postsecondary education awareness, community garden builds and funding to its variety of community partners. United Way focused on communities in need of support including Central City, Maryvale and Guadalupe, providing health education, community garden builds and financial training.

Jamie Killin

About Jamie Killin

Jamie Killin is the web editor for Frontdoors Media. She also is a freelance journalist who has been published in Thrillist, Phoenix Magazine, So Scottsdale!, The Arizona Republic and more.