The Poverello Center, Inc. was originally founded in 1987 by Father Bill Collins (1931-2017) and his dedicated group of volunteers. At the time, the goal was to feed people who were dying alone and rejected by society in large numbers with complications from AIDS. The crisis was so devastating, and he performed so many last rites, that he began to keep a “book of names” so that the community would not forget how many died and who they were. Today, Poverello continues by helping the poor and sick to “eat well.” With HIV as a chronic condition, our program has better outcomes (Viral suppression rate of 88.31%) than either our local doctor’s offices or the current national average (49%). We now provide food as medicine to people with Cardiac and Kidney problems as well as those with glycemic disorders, Cancer or other Critical/Chronic illnesses. Each year more than 4000 South Floridians needing support come to the Poverello Center, Inc. to select medically appropriate grocery items from our specialized menus and receive key nutritional information from our nutritionist.
As the best consumer choice, medically tailored and volunteer-fueled grocery pantry’s in the country, Poverello also makes available without charge, medical nutrition therapy, wellness services, and linkage into care services for people who have fallen out of primary medical care.
At our Live Well Center, Any program participant of the Eat Well Center or Be Well Programming may access our full-service gym, chiropractic services, acupuncture or massage free of charge. The idea is to provide a safe, accepting place for people to receive support and complementary health services. Persons in the community who have clothing or household item needs and receive services from us are provided for from items donated by the community to our thrift store.