A PARTNERSHIP OF VOLUNTEERS, ACTIVISTS, AND BRANDS COMES TOGETHER TO SERVE FREE MEALS IN AN UNDERSERVED PART OF FLORIDA HIT HARD BY HURRICANE IRMA
Less than a week after Hurricane Irma devastated southern Florida, Grassroots Alliance, a national non-profit organization committed to supporting communities in crisis, launched into action. Grassroots Alliance, a collective effort of activists, decided to bring their disaster relief efforts to Immokalee, Florida, with the goal of providing food, water, and other basic services to a disadvantaged and underserved area of the state that is home to a large number of migrant farm workers. With a mobile kitchen, they arrived to Immokalee on September 21st.
Grassroots Alliance has partnered with leading natural food brands and other companies to provide food donations, as well as financial and material support to run their relief efforts. The project has been made possible by the coming together of activists, businesses, and local community groups who have laid the groundwork for the outpouring of support to have a direct impact on the ground. Companies supporting the relief effort include Amy’s Kitchen, Clif Bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Organic Valley, Patagonia, Pacific Domes, Stonyfield, and other brands.
“Dr. Bronner’s is proud to support this important effort by the Grassroots Alliance,” says David Bronner. “We have upgraded a 48’ kitchen trailer, procured equipment, and are financing key staff on the ground to set up and manage the operation while coordinating with local community organizers and volunteers. In times of crisis, it’s awesome to see our partners in this effort step up and put progressive values into action. And they are also donating to relief efforts in Houston, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, as is Dr. Bronner’s. This effort truly embodies the “All-One” spirit and message of my granddad’s vision.”
Grassroots Alliance has been working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a farmworker community and human rights organization, to spread word about the kitchen and the services that it offers, as well as to drive meals out to those who cannot make it to the kitchen’s location. “The Immokalee community is glad to have the Grassroots Alliance Cafe and volunteers come to support our hardworking community of farmworkers in the wake of Hurricane Irma,” says Santiago Perez, member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. “The outpouring of solidarity that we have felt here in the past couple of weeks shows that Immokalee and the farmworkers who harvest this country’s crops are not alone and not forgotten. The delicious food and direct assistance is greatly appreciated and we look forward to building deep and lasting ties between our communities.”
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