Opal Apple Announces Youth Make a Difference Grant Recipients

FirstFruits Marketing of Washington has announced the recipients of grants for the Opal Apple Youth Make a Difference Initiative, a campaign designed to provide financial support to youth-led food and agriculture related non-profits. The “Youth Make a Difference” Initiative began in January when FirstFruits announced its call for applications from nonprofit organizations to benefit from 2013 Opal sales.

From the dozens of applications received, FirstFruits selected fifteen semi-finalists in April and invited the public to vote for their favorite cause. Over 50,000 votes were tallied and six projects with the top votes will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Those projects include Seeds Feed Families in Clinton, Miss., The Veggie Time Project in D.C., Project Green Thumb in Jonesboro, Ark., YEA Corps: Expanding Produce Distribution in Sustainable Agriculture in Minneapolis, Minn., Fresh Start Garden in Minneapolis, Minn., and The South Rome Community Garden and Classroom in Rome, Ga.

“We were really encouraged by the number and variety of organizations that applied for funding,” says Keith Mathews, CEO of FruitsFruits of Washington. “We discovered so many worthy projects that we would have never come across otherwise. It is really inspiring to see the next generation striving to make a real difference in their communities on issues like hunger and healthy eating, the politics of food distribution, and the importance of community service.”

Many children experience hunger, malnutrition or obesity, but very few understand where their food is sourced or how it is grown. With the Youth Make a Difference Initiative, First Fruits hopes to raise awareness for these issues and inspire youth to get involved and make a difference in their own communities.

Opal apple was first introduced in 2010 and it quickly gained favor with consumers for its bright yellow color with hints of orange, distinctively crunchy texture, and sweet, tangy flavor. Unlike other apples, Opal resists oxidation. It is less likely to brown after slicing, making it a snack-time favorite among moms and kids.

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