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Looking for a BreakSpot?

childhungerWith school letting out next week, summertime BreakSpot’s are getting ready to kick in to gear; providing breakfast, lunch and snacks for FREE to children 18 and under. Florida alone in 2012 served 10,092,594 meals at over 3,000 sites. According to Feeding America:

“Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important in establishing and maintaining a good foundation that has implications on a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation.”

Please help us spread the word about this program. If you need to find a BreakSpot nearby, simply dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211 and we will get you connected. Visiting another part of the state over the summer? No sweat, 2-1-1 and Summer BreakSpot’s are both available statewide.



Want to make a difference to end hunger? Volunteer with an agency working to alleviate hunger and homelessness in Marion County.






National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

imageSaturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Marion County Solid Waste is the central disposal location for medications at 5601 S.E. 66th Street. While they aren’t participating in the national event per se… they’ll do you one better! They will be open during their normal business hours this Saturday: 7a-5p (you can call 2-1-1 24/7 to get information about their other days of operation and their additional services year round).

“I Just Can’t Make it Out There”

While it’s ideal to dispose of medications with the County disposal program, If you can’t make it out there, we have a list of tips from the FDA to guide you through proper disposal at home.

Welcome Back to School Soldier

veterancollegeGrowing up in the military there was a sign hanging on my kitchen wall. It said “Home is Where the Navy Sends Us”. Well, when it comes to applying for in-state tuition in Florida, now veterans (who were honorably discharged) will qualify for in-state tuition as long as they live in Florida while in school.

Even with in-state tuition, going to school can be costly and we can help you with the next steps to affording your education. The United Way has launched a “Going to College” texting project. Simply visit the website to find the code of the Florida school you want to attend, then text that code to 898-211. You will automatically begin receiving updates reminding you about registration deadlines, options for financial aid and other resources. While it won’t tell you when your class papers are due, it will help you get started on the right foot. You can opt out at any time.

Sometimes vicarious trauma and PTSD can make it hard to take the steps to apply and then to succeed in school. When you begin the process of applying, 2-1-1 can guide you to agencies who understand what you’re going through and provide that extra layer of support. We want you to thrive and succeed, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

2-1-1 can also let you know who to contact for scholarships, VA education benefits, child care subsidies, moving expense assistance for veterans and more.

Oh Rats!

moldIs your building or your neighbor’s home starting to remind you of the movie Ratatouille, minus the five star cooking? Is mold or mildew taking over your walls? Rats can carry diseases like rabies and mold can lead to health problems such as asthma or in severe cases of exposure can cause fungal infections in your lungs.

Janet* recently called 2-1-1 with a serious problem. The mold in her home was so severe that her whole family was getting sick.  2-1-1 was able to connect Janet with Code Enforcement to address her need, but we didn’t stop there. Through talking to Janet it appeared that the mold was due to repairs that needed to be made the exterior of her home, so we were able to connect her with a program with Central Florida Community Action Agency to help prevent further moisture from seeping in and creating more mold. Through further conversation we learned that her husband was a Veteran with the Navy, (more…)

Fever All Through The Night

fluAccording to the Florida Department of Health Newsletter this week, Marion County is one of a few counties in the state where flu activity has risen from mild to moderate. Some Floridians are on life support from the flu, and a woman in her 30’s died this weekend from the flu. If you or your children haven’t received their flu shots yet, simply dial 2-1-1 to find out where to go.

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong was available to the media as he received his flu shot in Marion County, click here to watch the video: FOX 35 News Orlando

A Horse is a Horse Unless of Course…

horsetherapy According to www.ocalamarion.com, Marion County is the horse capital of the world. When most people think of therapy, they think of sitting on a couch and talking with a counselor. Did you know that horses make great therapists? Now, we don’t mean they’re going to start talking like our old friend Mr. Ed… Equestrian therapy, also known as equine therapy or hippotherapy, helps both as a form of physical therapy as well as psychotherapy.  (more…)

Get Healthy with 2-1-1!

nutritionYou don’t have to wait for January to make some resolutions. Did you know that 2-1-1 can let you know about live healthy resources such as exercise classes, nutrition education, health education, rec centers and activities, health screenings, vaccines, as well as programs to help you kick your vices be they alcohol, cigarettes or other substances? If you want to get healthy, simply dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to us at 898-211 to learn about the many resources near you.

Health Insurance Enrollment Has Begun

Insurance enrollment has begun with HealthCare.gov as of October 1st. Heart of Florida Health Center is taking calls. If  you have been rejected for Medicaid in the past, you can still apply now. If you don’t have health insurance, call 2-1-1 to find out how to apply or visit www.healthcare.gov. At times people are experiencing a wait time, when accessing the healthcare.gov website(due to the large number of people accessing the website), to be directed to the login page, this may take a few minutes. The website is available 24/7, so we encourage you to try accessing the website outside of standard business hours for a shorter(or no) wait time.

Key Dates:

October 1, 2013: Open Enrollment Begins
January 1, 2014: Coverage can begin
March 31, 2014: Must apply for insurance or have an exemption by this date. Learn about the many ways people are exempt from required health coverage and fees as well as how to apply for the exemption: here.

A Little Bird Told Me…


Let’s Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends

helpful-handsThe Beatles were on to something and Marion County is full of friends to lean on. Did you know that 2-1-1 can refer you to over 30 agencies in Marion County that offer support groups to those in need? The types of support groups include: pet loss, post-release from incarceration, breast feeding, LGBTQ, health/disability, mental health, bereavement, victims of crime, parenting, addiction and so much more!

Simply Dial 2-1-1 from any phone for FREE to reach us and ask about support groups near you.

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