October 2, 2018  |  Austin In the News

Austin Statesman Covers FII Launch: Project aims to give financial boost to 1,000 low-income Central Texans

by Nancy Flores

October 2, 2018

“Project aims to give financial boost to 1,000 low-income Central Texans”


Just as the Move Baby, Move exercise program was gaining recognition in Louisiana and Texas, New Orleans resident and fitness specialist Aaron Palmer was shaken after his co-founder Meranda Varnado died.

Together, they had teamed up to create a music-based chair aerobics program for older adults. But in 2012, after Varnado’s death, Palmer said he was “in bad shape for a long time.”

About two years ago, Palmer decided to check out the Family Independence Initiative project, which is aimed at lifting low-income families by giving them direct access to funds. The anti-poverty project, he said, helped him refocus, plan and keep moving forward to fulfill his goals.

On Tuesday, the St. David’s Foundation, Google.org, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced a $1.3 million grant that will bring the initiative’s anti-poverty project to Austin. Over the next five years, the initiative plans to work with community-based organizations and other partners to reach 1,000 low-income Central Texas families.

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