Symposium on poverty to feature expert speakers on Oct. 2

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Harvest Food and Outreach Center recently announced that the 2015 Symposium on Poverty in Indian River County, sponsored by Vero Insurance, will be held on Oct. 2, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. This educational event will be held at The Richardson Center, Indian River State College, 6155 College Dr. in Vero Beach.

This year’s symposium will focus on poverty and the workforce. Featured speakers include John Franklin, CEO of United Way of Northern New Jersey, who spearheaded the first Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) report in 2009, which is a comprehensive data-driven research project. He is also leading a charge to look beyond temporary fixes and instead find solutions that result in long-term, sustainable change for the betterment of all families.

Dr. James D. Wright, author, educator, and the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida, will speak about work and well-being among low and moderate-income families.

Maria Kim, President and CEO of The CARA Program, will discuss a demonstrative project that creates opportunities through quality employment including job coaching as a methodology to increase job retention and therefore increase employability and long-term employment.

In addition, a panel discussion will focus on employer needs and how they collaborate with nonprofits to find employees.

A continental breakfast will be provided by Einstein Bros. Bagels and Panera.

This event is free and provided as a service for the community to raise awareness about topical issues related to poverty in Indian River County. Sponsorships are accepted to underwrite event expenses. To learn more about sponsorships, contact Harvest at (772) 770-0740 or email

Advance registration before Sept. 30 is advised as space is limited and pre-registrants will be seated first. To register visit, click on “Events” and select “Symposium.”

Harvest Food & Outreach Center, founded in 2003 by Austin and Ginny Hunt in Indian River County, provides a holistic, multi-component approach that provides a step up to those living at or under the 200 percent federal poverty level. Harvest’s purpose is to inspire and empower people living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency. Harvest’s unique model focuses on resource development, resource protection, and resource connection.

Harvest’s services include: An Education and Employment Opportunity Programs that provides long-term sustainable solutions for those in need to reach self-sufficiency. A Hunger Relief Program that includes the Cost Share Grocery Program. And a Crisis Center that stabilizes people in crisis through counseling and provides active referrals to services.

For information about volunteering, donations and or taking a tour of the Vero Beach campus call (772) 770-0740 or visit

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