Food banks in Tallahassee and Palm Beach County and a church outreach program that provides food and other necessities in Hardee County are the latest benefactors of U.S. Sen. Rick Scott‘s pledge to donate his government salary to charities.
Scott, a first-term Senator, announced Monday he is donating his third-quarter Senate pay to the Hardee Help Center in Wauchula, the Palm Beach County Food Bank in Lake Worth and the Second Harvest of the Big Bend located in Tallahassee. U.S. Senators are paid $174,000 a year, so a quarter would be $43,500.
“Today, my wife, Ann, and I are proud to support three great organizations that are working day-in and day-out to help Florida families with food and resources they may need in the face of hardship,” Scott said in a news release. “This holiday season, I encourage all Floridians follow the lead of these incredible organizations and their hardworking volunteers by giving back to your communities, helping your neighbors and supporting one another in any way we can.”
Scott, a Republican who is a former chief executive of HCA Healthcare, as well as a former two-term Governor, has been reported to have a personal net worth in the range of a quarter billion dollars.
The Hardee Help Center began as a bean ministry outreach of the local churches in the mid-1980s. The organization provides a variety of resources and support for individuals and families facing hardships including food, household items and financial assistance.
“From everyone at the Hardee Help Center, we want to extend our deepest gratitude to Sen. Rick Scott for his generous contribution,” Hardee Help Center Executive Director Jill Vaillancourt said in the release. “Sen. Scott’s thoughtfulness and generosity will aid the Hardee Help Center in continuing to fulfill our mission to bring hope and healing to Hardee families in difficult seasons of life.”
The Palm Beach County Food Bank is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating hunger in Palm Beach County, supporting nearly 200 partner agencies in Palm Beach County with food, programs, resources and services.
“The Palm Beach County Food Bank is very grateful to Sen. Scott for making such a generous gift to us and helping to alleviate hunger in Palm Beach County,” Palm Beach County Food Bank CEO Jamie Kendall said.
The Second Harvest of the Big Bend is a nonprofit charity started in 1982 to address urgent problems with hunger facing communities in several Florida counties. The organization provides healthy food and other needed items to address food insecurity and to relieve emergency and crisis situations.
“By gifting Second Harvest with his salary, Senator Scott is not only supporting the food bank and all those we serve throughout the Big Bend, he’s also demonstrating first-hand the spirit of giving back to help those less fortunate, especially during the holidays. The Senator’s generous gift will help us spread even more hope this season to our neighbors in need,” said Second Harvest of the Big Bend CEO Monique Van Pelt.
Scott has donated his federal salary to multiple causes. Shortly after he took office in 2019, the Naples Republican donated a quarter of his annual salary to a pair of Florida organizations providing assistance to Puerto Rico refugees who fled to Florida after Hurricane Maria: the Legal Services Clinic of Puerto Rican Community Inc. of Orlando and the Mujeres Restauradas Por Dios of Tampa.
U.S. Senators are paid $174,000 a year, so a quarter of that would be $43,500.
Subsequent salary donations have also been doled out on a per-quarter basis. His salary for the first two quarters was split across four Florida nonprofits: Liberty Youth Ranch in Bonita Springs, Advance Senior Center in Kissimmee, Guadalupe Center in Immokalee and the ALS Association Florida Tampa Chapter.