May 25, 2023
FirstFruits’ Opal Apple youth charity releases award winners

In conjunction with Opal Apple, FirstFruits Farms has announced recipients of the Opal Youth Make A Difference Grant.

The charitable program is designed to support and uplift youth-led initiatives that make a positive impact in young peoples’ local communities while focusing on youth taking leadership roles, according to a news release.

To be considered, applicants must be nonprofits operating in one of the 50 U.S. states or District of Columbia or be affiliated with school entities in good standing. The organizations must address one or more of the following issues: Food security, nutrition, agriculture and food politics and education.

The program received a record number of 58 applicants from all over the U.S. After a rigorous evaluation process, eight exceptional programs have been chosen to receive a combined total of $35,000.FirstFruits Farms

The following grant winners stood out for their youth leadership roles and impact on their local communities.

  • Katie’s Krops (Summerville, South Carolina): Growing a healthy end to hunger, one youth-grown vegetable garden at a time.
  • Water 4 Mercy (Clearwater, Florida): Providing water, food, and hope to remote African villages.
  • LEAF Project (Landisburg, Pennsylvania) : Cultivating youth leaders from diverse backgrounds through meaningful work in the food system.
    Grow It Green (Morristown, New Jersey): Empowering a healthier and greener community.
  • Tennessee FFA Foundation (Cookeville, Tennessee): Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve.
  • The Garden Club Project (Blacklick, Ohio): Teaching at-risk teens how to grow, harvest, prepare, and sell their produce.
  • AfriThrive (Spring, Maryland): Dedicated to building vibrant and thriving African immigrant and minority families through access to food, youth skills, and economic opportunity.
  • Cultivating Connections (Hamilton, Montana): Working to inspire gratitude, generosity, community, abundance, and love of nature through education and organic farming.

“We are thrilled to witness the growth and impact of the Opal Youth Make A Difference Grant program,” Chuck Zeutenhorst, FirstFruits Marketing’s president, said in the release. “We believe that by supporting and empowering these youth-led initiatives, we are fostering a generation of change-makers who will shape a better future for all. We look forward to continuing this journey and witnessing the remarkable transformations that these grant awardees will bring.”

Each grant recipient’s enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference serve as a testament to the incredible potential of youth-led initiatives. Their visionary projects and initiatives have the potential to bring about significant positive change and create lasting impact in our communities.

The 2023 application window will be Dec. 15-Feb. 9, 2024.

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