IMMOKALEE – Lipman Family Farms, a locally invested and nationally recognized tomato grower, recently donated $20,000 to Taste of Immokalee, a student run business that creates and markets locally sourced salsas and sauces and uses the profits to fund an entrepreneurship program for Immokalee High School students.
As the organization continues to grow it has come with the hurdle that many small businesses struggle to overcome: the ability to finance their expansion. As an avid supporter and partner of Taste of Immokalee, Lipman Family Farms has continued to support the program.
Taste of Immokalee’s mission statement aligns with Lipman Family Farm’s philanthropic giving, which is to combat food insecurity, while supporting children and their education. Taste Immokalee does just that by having students combat the food insecurity in Immokalee through a business that provides them with entrepreneurial skills.
In 2019, the company brought on a group of exceptional executives to the board, with proven success growing various enterprises, particularly in areas relevant to Taste of Immokalee’s next evolution of growth. One of the individuals who was added to the team was Jaime Weisinger, Director of Lipman Family Farms. Jaime not only brought his business expertise to the table, but also his company’s fresh produce. Taste of Immokalee uses farm fresh ingredients, including locally sourced tomatoes by Lipman Family Farms.
“It really helps to have someone a phone call away who can help with the production of our products”, said Marie Capita-Executive Director of Taste of Immokalee.
“If we could raise up to half a million dollars, that would take a lot of pressure off, really by being able to purchase inventory and do some real marketing. More money also is needed to involve more students and to pay them for all the hours they work. Some of the students in the program work second jobs because they need money to help support their families and to go to college” said Marie Capita.
“Anytime we can help high school students get real world job training to better prepare them for today’s workforce is always a win/win for both the students and future employers. The Taste of Immokalee program has successfully trained local students on all aspects of managing their own real-time business and created quality consumer products in the meantime. Lipman Family Farms is proud to be able to support them”, said Jaime Weisinger – Director of Community Relations, Lipman Family Farms.
About Taste of Immokalee
Taste of Immokalee is a benefit corporation founded in 2014 by Immokalee-based One by One Leadership Foundation. What began as a seed of an idea by a group of local high school students has grown into a social enterprise that creates and sells specialty food products representing the unique blend of Immokalee’s culture and rich agriculture. Taste of Immokalee is committed to providing students with hands-on experience in all aspects of business, with a focus on giving back. Profits are returned to the community of Immokalee to benefit youth programs and alleviate hunger and poverty. Learn more at www.TasteofImmokalee.com.
About Lipman Family Foundation
Lipman Family Farms is a full-service tomato and vegetable company operating in both open-field and protected agriculture. Lipman is the largest open-field tomato grower in North America. Lipman also specializes in greenhouse-grown tomatoes and vegetables, with greenhouse operations in Nebraska, Canada, and Mexico. Lipman’s seed-to-shelf supply chain control – research and development, farming, processing, repacking, logistics and marketing – delivers the consistency and quality that has made Lipman Family Farms North America’s most dependable source of fresh tomatoes and vegetables. The Lipman Family Foundation’s commitment to being “Good from the Ground Up” means creating lasting impact in the communities in which they operate. With a focus on supporting children, education, and hunger relief, they are proud to be involved in a variety of initiatives across the country. Learn more at https://www.lipmanfamilyfarms.com