Orlando Food Bank For Laid Off Walt Disney World Cast Members In Danger of Closing
In May, UNITE HERE Local 737, a union for Cast Members, opened an Orlando food bank for laid-off Cast Members. Unfortunately, the food bank is now in danger of closing due to a lack of food and financial support.
News 13 spoke to Sharon Ryan, who worked at Cinderella Castle before being furloughed and now laid off this month. Ryan not only volunteers at the food bank but is also one of many who need it.
“Twenty-five years ago is when I hired on at Disney,” Ryan said. “I had to do a resume, what do you put on there? That I have been somewhere for 25 years?”
UNITE HERE Local 737 Trustee Sonja Flowers said of the layoffs, “When they started out with 200 (people), it was a lot of work. We couldn’t believe how many, but now at 1,200 (people) every week, it goes more and more and more.”
Officials with the union say that their food bank’s resources are so low that they don’t know how much longer they will be able to provide help. They are expecting at least another 1,200 cars at their weekly distribution this Saturday and are spending about $20,000 a week.
“It’s disheartening,” Flowers said. “We need food.”
If you are interested in donating or volunteering with UNITE HERE Local 737, you can contact them at 407-851-0626. Their offices, where they distribute food each Saturday, are at 1255 La Quinta Drive #212 in Orlando.