Supporting the local communities serviced by Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks' many independently owned franchise janitorial companies is an honor, privilege, and responsibility we take pride and pleasure in being part of.
Improving Communities Through Local Outreach Programs
Members of Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks routinely commit both time and money to charities in our local community that focus on:
- Increasing food security.
- Eliminating child poverty, and;
- Improving childhood literacy and education.
The Challenge of Post-Pandemic Food Insecurity
According to Feeding America, in 2021, food insecurity may affect:
- 1 in 8 people--roughly 42 million, and;
- 1 in 6 children--13 million.
While these numbers are down from the previous year--45 million and 15 million, respectively--they remain troubling.
A major contributing factor to the spike in food insecurity in the US since 2019--a year that saw historic lows in both poverty levels and unemployment--was the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of businesses.
The result of the COVID-19 pandemic was the first economic recession in the United States since the Great Recession of 2007.
Within weeks, tens of millions of people lost jobs or saw declines in hours worked.
For the week ending March 28, 2020, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance was nearly 7 million, a record high.
The official unemployment rate for April rose to 14.7%, reflecting the largest monthly increase and the highest rate since 1948 when such data was first collected.
Before the start of the pandemic, the overall food insecurity rate had reached its lowest point since it began to be measured in the 1990s, but those improvements were being upended by the pandemic.
The Challenge of Single Parent Families in the War on Poverty
Poverty does not just negatively impact food security; it also presents a demonstrable challenge in childhood education, especially in single-parent homes, resulting in diminished future long-term prospects and outcomes--a process that, unfortunately, appears cyclical.
According to Child Fund:
1 in 6 children in the U.S. are living in poverty.
The poverty rate for single-mother households is 31%, meaning almost 1 in 3 single mothers live in poverty.
37% of children raised in poverty do not finish high school.
People who do not earn a high school diploma by age 20 are 7 times more likely to be persistently poor between ages 25 and 30.
Children who grow up impoverished complete fewer years of schooling and earn much lower incomes than people who did not grow up poor.
Children who grow up poor in the U.S. are more likely to be in poor health.
Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks Local Outreach Mission
To combat the challenges of childhood poverty and food insecurity in our local communities, Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks has partnered with:
- The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas - Serving 122 single-parent recipients with a total of 228 children. The median GPA of recipients is 3.32/4.0, and;
- The Elm Springs United Methodist Church Soul Food Mission - Provides over 200 food boxes each month (meals for approximately 180 local families per month) and approximately 40 Snack Packs per week for Willis Shaw Elementary School students.
Combatting and ending food insecurity and childhood poverty is just as critical to public health and wellness as facility cleanliness and hygiene.
Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks recognizes the criticality of positively impacting the members of our local communities and spreading the word regarding the importance of these and other causes.
Looking for a janitorial provider that takes pride in supporting the local economy?--Let’s talk.
In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450
In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410
In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777