Sips of Sunshine Blog

FBA is Proud to Honor Community Grant Award Winners from 2022 and 2021

community grant winners

The Florida Beverage Association (FBA) began Spring 2023 by formally recognizing two of its past recipients of its Community Grant Award, an exciting program through which FBA, with the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, offers grant funding to incentivize projects related to health, wellness and environmental sustainability.

PHOTO: Children in the City of Miami’s Parks and Recreation After School Program check out the new recycling bins in the Jose Marti Park, a part of the Connect Kids and Community program funded by a grant from the Florida Beverage Association and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America.

FBA Members Travis Warren, Diana Arteaga and Carlos Diaz Granados of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, as well as Doug Lynn of PepsiCo, attended events in South Florida on March 28, 2023. In the City of Miami (District 3), a program to target environmental sustainability through increased placement of recycling bins and other related initiatives earned the city a $20,000 FBA Grant. In Coral Gables, a partnership between municipal leaders and the Keep Coral Gables Beautiful initiative garnered a $25,000 FBA Community Grant Award.

Connect Kids and Community

The City of Miami caught FBA’s attention with its application for grant funds for its Connect Kids and Community program, the first component of which calls for the installation of recycling bins in four Miami parks: Jose Marti Park, Henderson Park, Coral Way Park and Riverside Park. The Community Grant Award will aid in the purchase of 25 recycling containers to be placed throughout the four parks, with a major goal being to increase recycling opportunities and availability, particularly to underserved populations, including young people and low-income families. The program also includes an educational component for children in the City’s Parks and Recreation After School programming and will look to utilize social media to reach all Miami residents on the importance of recycling.

“We are excited to support the Connect Kids and Community program, which seeks to educate and engage children and their families on the importance of recycling,” said Florida Beverage Association President Elizabeth Castro-DeWitt during the March 28 presentation ceremony honoring the City of Miami’s grant award. “The purpose of the program is to offer hands-on activities related to end littering, improving recycling and beautifying communities. Engaging youth from an early age in this educational resource will foster a more sustainable model for Miami’s future environmental wellness.”

Reverse Vending Machine Recycling

For the City of Coral Gables and Keep Coral Gables Beautiful, the $25,000 in grant funds have been put toward its Reverse Vending Machine Recycling Incentive Program. The program provided for the installation of a ‘Flex Reverse Vending Machine’ at the War Memorial Youth Center in Coral Gables. The unique vending-style machine system works as a drop-off point for recyclable bottles and cans, and users may access the recycling rewards app associated with the program to receive prizes, which further encourages competitive use of the machine by Coral Gables residents.

“The Reverse Vending Incentive program will increase collections of valuable commodities, lower contamination rates and improve business participation in recycling initiatives, ensuring that valuable recyclable materials, like plastic bottles, do not end up in places where they shouldn’t,” Castro-DeWitt said. “We are excited to collaborate with Coral Gables to create a more sustainable future for generations to come.”

Wellness and Sustainability

The Florida Beverage Association continues its work to foster sustainable environmental practices and improved health and wellness initiatives throughout the State of Florida and applauds the initiatives submitted by non-profits, municipalities and other entities as part of the Community Grant Award program.

FBA and its members are currently reviewing applications received for the 2023 FBA Community Grant and selecting our finalists. Be sure to be on the lookout for information on the 2023 FBA Community Grant Award winners.

We offer our congratulations to our FBA Community Grant awardees and encourage others to join the Sunshine State’s commitment to making Florida a national innovator and leader in the fields of wellness and environmentally sustainable practices.

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