Farmers Feeding Florida
Through a partnership with Bayer CropScience, the Foundation is collaborating with Farmers Feeding Florida to provide grower incentives for wholesome yet unmarketable food to be delivered to families participating in the Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s programs.
The partnership has resulted in weekly deliveries of produce and other essential items to RCMA Hillsborough since February 7, 2022. The donations have amounted to 64,781 pounds of which 45,892 have been produce. Bayer CropScience and the Foundation also supported RCMA Polk’s Spring Festival with a mobile pantry that distributed bakery items, frozen meat, assorted groceries, produce, and more. The mobile pantry distributed 11,366 pounds, including 7,533 pounds of produce.
Farmers Feeding Florida has distributed 1.2 million pounds of produce from February through May 2022. Farmers Feeding Florida is Feeding Florida’s produce recovery initiative which offsets out-of-pocket costs for packing materials to enable them to scale up donations to multiple truckload quantities.
Leadership Service Projects
Each year, FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program class learns about community and the importance of supporting groups that address the needs of farmworkers and their families. Each class undertakes a service project to help the farmworker families served by the Redlands Christian Migrant Association. Those projects have included drives for shirts and food.
RCMA Christmas Cards
RCMA provides quality child care and early education for children of migrant farmworkers and rural, low-income families throughout Florida. The largest non-profit child-care provider in Florida, RCMA is a leader in high-quality early childhood services. The Foundation participates each year in the RCMA Christmas Card Project to raise money through the sale of holiday cards designed by RCMA students. Each year, businesses from all over Florida purchase thousands of cards and have the option of purchasing a design that is exclusively theirs! Every dollar from the cards counts towards the match RCMA must reach to receive millions in state funds. In 2020, the program raised over $15,000. For more information and to participate in the program, click here and download the flyer and order form.
The annual Benefit Auction, sponsored by the Foundation, raises $30,000 on average each year at FFVA’s annual convention to support the George Sorn Scholarship program, RCMA and the Emerging Leader Development Program. Each year at the convention, bidders vie for a splendid array of sports items, travel packages, wine selections, gifts and more while raising funds for a great cause. The Benefit Auction has raised over $600,000 over the past 20 years. In 2021, the Benefit Auction raised $26,000.
RCMA Hurricane Relief Fund
Florida’s farmworker families suffered in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017. The storm’s disruption of early-season farm work left many jobless, homeless and running out of cash. The funds raised helped provide immediate basic living essentials and temporary housing needs for these families. The RCMA staff worked diligently to coordinate food deliveries and housing arrangements for the distressed families.
The campaign raised $130,950 – a significant amount of support for the farmworker families. Monsanto graciously stepped up with a $50,000 challenge to the FFVA members and stakeholders to reach $100,000. Farm Credit/AgFirst/CoBank then committed $15,000 to the efforts. FFVA and the Foundation contributed $20,000, as did the Florida Tomato Committee/Exchange. Many donors participated to exceed the goal.
We are pleased that by reaching and exceeding the $100,000 goal, RCMA was able to receive an additional $50,000 in donations from three foundations in Naples.
Reiter Affiliated Companies Fund
Reiter Affiliated Companies has set up a donor-directed fund to be administered by the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation. The Reiter organization is an independent grower for Driscoll’s and is proud to grow their berries in Dover and Lake Placid, Florida.
The fund is directed to non-profit organizations who seek to live the Reiter mission through work that directly impacts the well-being of the farmworker community. In 2019, the Reiter fund donated $10,000 to RCMA for the Family Support Program for Mulberry Farmworkers.
Funds are donated annually based on the company’s percentage of annual profitability.