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Community Connections

Sharing the good work of our nonprofit partners in North and South Florida

May 2014

Gleaning helps stock pantry shelves in Palm Beach County

The 2013/2014 season (November - March) yielded a significant 224,197 pounds of produce.

Through the tireless efforts of approximately 2,000 volunteers, CROS Ministries provides food and other assistance to approximately 50,000 individuals and families each year.

The Jim Moran Foundation currently supports two of the organization's initiatives: its Gleaning Program to recover produce from local farms that would otherwise go to waste and its Community Food Pantry Program to distribute produce and other donated products through six pantry sites in high-poverty areas of Palm Beach County. The nonprofit also operates a pantry in Martin County.

Volunteers Ora Lee Lumpkin (left) and Danielle Verna carefully pack food bags to distribute at one of the local pantries.

"Gleaning with CROS was special," said one volunteer. "It meant being together and helping to feed people that are less fortunate than us. It meant teaching our young children to 'give back to the community' and do good for others. It was very rewarding and we look forward to many more gleaning times together."

In the first quarter of 2014, CROS pantries served 13,268 individuals -- and 39% were children.

To volunteer or learn more about CROS Ministries, visit their website or call (561) 233-9009.

Youth Achiever plans to give back in hometown of Jacksonville

Future high school teacher, Jermaine Bridges

A graduate of Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Fla., the 2010 North Florida Youth Achiever -- Jermaine Bridges -- has enjoyed his past four years at Florida State University (FSU) and is preparing for another significant milestone. Always a "math whiz," Jermaine will graduate with a double-major in Math and Education in December 2014.

In addition to his coursework, Jermaine is involved in several organizations on campus, including serving as president of We Take Education and Content Higher at FSU (WeTEACH@FSU), a professional development group for future Math and Science educators. Following graduation, Jermaine plans to move back to Jacksonville to share his expertise by working at a "high needs" school.

"Teaching is my way of changing the world for the better," Jermaine said. "Without this scholarship from The Jim Moran Foundation, I wouldn't have been able to accomplish as much as I have."

The Jim Moran Foundation annually selects two Youth Achievers -- one high school senior from North Florida and one from South Florida -- to each receive a needs-based, four-year legacy scholarship to FSU with funding provided through The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at FSU

College Tour Program motivates students to pursue higher education

College Tour visits FSU

Students explored Florida State University, pictured above, as well as University of Central Florida, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida A&M University, University of Florida and University of South Florida.

Nearly 100 students from Deerfield Beach High School in Broward County are better prepared for success thanks to the College Tour Program. Sponsored through the City of Deerfield Beach and currently delivered by Urban League of Broward County, the program is now in its fourth year. With funding from The Jim Moran Foundation, it provides academic instruction, community service opportunities and college readiness assistance to students each Saturday.

In the Spring, more than 50 tenth and eleventh graders who actively participated during the year were invited to attend the free, four-day, three-night tour to six universities across Florida. Students learned about opportunities and admissions at each university through meetings with campus representatives. College Tour Program alumni also visited with them to share valuable insight on campus life. The trip ended with a fun day at Busch Gardens -- and excitement for what the future holds.

To learn more about the College Tour Program, contact Michelle Domany from the Urban League of Broward County at (954) 625-2560.