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GROW provides $150,000 grant to Project AmigoThe GROW Fund, a nonprofit program developed by Organics Unlimited in 2005, has approved a grant of $150,000 to Project Amigo for 2016 program support. Organics Unlimited and its GROW brand are longtime supporters of Project Amigo, a nonprofit that helps provide access to education for youth in the state of Colima, Mexico, where many Organics Unlimited organic bananas are grown.
“Children of most agricultural workers in the Colima area lack the resources and incentives to continue their educations beyond primary school,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of Organics Unlimited and GROW. “I am thrilled this contribution from the GROW Fund will help provide opportunities for the youth and continue to advance the region.”
Over the past decade, through retailer and distributor support, GROW organic banana purchases have provided over $2 million in aid for communities near Organics Unlimited banana farms in Mexico and Ecuador. A percentage derived from the purchase of each box of GROW organic bananas is earmarked for the GROW Fund.
Founded 30 years ago, Project Amigo provides scholarships to allow promising students in need to continue their studies. This grant from GROW by Organics Unlimited will provide educational scholarships to 27 children within the Colima area as well as provide leadership and personal development training to poor rural youth to prepare them for occupational success. There are 119 students in Project Amigo’s scholarship program in 2016, including the 27 students sponsored by the GROW Fund.
The 2016 grant will also provide funding for other educational programs and regular community health, education and service offerings that Project Amigo administers, such as:
• The purchase fortified, powdered milk from a federal milk program that, as part of their community service, Project Amigo scholars sell at a discounted rate to low-income families.
• Once-a-month community education classes on topics such as nutrition, literacy and basic mathematics.
• School improvements such as replacing broken windows and screens, purchasing chairs and tables, new computers, installing internet access, textbooks, sports equipment and building infrastructure upgrades.
• GROW Study Center maintenance and monthly expenses such as telephone and Internet access, wages for the center director, roof repair and supplies.
• Operational costs of Casa Amiga, which provides room and board for GROW scholars attending the University of Colima, including three meals a day, internet access, 24-hour supervision from a housemother, tutoring and more.
• Emergency aid in the event of a natural disaster to assist with school and community repairs (these funds are granted from a designated GROW sub-fund for disaster relief).
“We cannot thank GROW enough for its ongoing support of bright, deserving students in Colima, Mexico,” said Jenna Saldaña, co-executive director of Project Amigo. “With this grant, GROW scholars will continue working toward their dreams of completing university, finding employment in their field and breaking out of the cycle of poverty their families have been caught in.”
To donate or learn more about GROW by Organics Unlimited, please visit http://donate.icfdn.org/. To purchase GROW organic bananas, visit organicsunlimited.com.
Publication date: 2/9/2016
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