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Dishing-out Dollars To FoodRaising Friends

PenAir employees selected FoodRaising Friends, Inc. a 2022 Jeans for Communerosity® (J4C) charity.

FoodRaising Friends, Inc. is Northwest Florida’s nutritional bridge for children during school breaks. They work toward removing barriers between children who are at risk or experiencing hunger and the food they need to improve education outcomes.

“We’re here to increase the access for food for children and we do that through community partners and our schools.” Clay Coleman, Chair of Long-Term Planning for FoodRaising Friends, Inc.

Feeding America estimates 22 million children experience food insecurity (the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food) over the summer months. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 children within Escambia County, FL are affected by hunger, making the mission of FoodRaising Friends, to increase children’s access to food through intentional relationships with school and community programs that enhance their ability to thrive, that much more important.

“We chose FoodRaising Friends as one of the charities in part to bring awareness to those in our community who suffer from food insecurities,” says Courtney Brooks, Senior Member Advisor at PenAir Federal Credit Union. “Many in our community that don’t realize the number of families that rely on the meals their children receive through school. Without these resources, children go hungry. As a mom of young children, I know exactly how important it is to make sure they have full bellies.”

PenAir’s J4C program is an employee-driven fundraising effort, born from the dedication and passion for enhancing the lives of those in the communities where we live, work and serve. Each year, employees nominate and vote for like-minded local nonprofit organizations to champion over the course of a year. Selected charities receive a gift of $4,000, along with a commitment from the credit union’s 332 employees to serve the organization through volunteer opportunities supporting their missions. Funds are raised through payroll deductions, J4C days, and J4C t-shirt sales, then matched by PenAir.

Beyond the check, the J4C program was created as a way for the company to collectively serve our communities, which includes the gift of time. In that spirit, each PenAir employee receives 5 hours of paid time per month to volunteer during working hours with the organization of their choice.

Learn how you can shop their Wish Lists, donate, or host a food drive for FoodRaising Friends by visiting foodraisingfriends.com.

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