At the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, we are inspired every day by people around us who give of their time, talents, and treasure through supporting Foundation initiatives or spearheading their own. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation wants to shine a light on some exceptionally giving neighbors whose missions enhance life on The Key and surrounding areas.
Here are fast facts about our first Village Hero:
Who: Pat Molinari
What: Pat leveraged 30 years experience in the food industry along with community connections and compassion to launch a local Food Co-Op to address fresh food needs
Where: Liberty City, a neighboring community with statistically high poverty levels
When: February 2014
How: Through collaboration with Miami’s Children’s Initiative and the Key Biscayne Police Chief Press Charitable Foundation. Pat mobilized essential manpower (e.g. The Chief’s daughter Danielle) and additional financial support provided by the Key Biscayne Community Foundation to offer fresh food to families. Since launch, they also secured a grant from Coca-Cola to cover rising costs of fruits and vegetables.
Why: Pat had serious concerns about the lack of affordable, fresh produce in this impoverished area. Through reducing dependence on canned or fast food, community members will experience health benefits.
A little more info about our Village Hero:
The Miami Children’s Initiative Co-Op organization fights fresh food deficiencies one block at a time in Liberty City. Pat, a financial donor herself, also acts as Chief Operations Officer for the group. She manages the logistical strategy by sourcing the food and coordinating Neighborhood and Key Biscayne volunteers who set up the fresh air market during each activation. Families contribute $2 per box which provides them with 15-16 different fruits & veggies, which cost the Food Co-Op between $70-80 per basket. The Food Co-Op volunteers also conduct live cooking demos to educate mothers & fathers on preparation of unfamiliar items.
What’s next for the Liberty City Food Co-Op:
Pat would like to see the fresh food Co-Op become the norm and not an anomaly for Liberty City. By surveying members on health benefits and educating them on the positives of healthy eating, Pat hopes the mission’s benefits will spread throughout Liberty City.
How you can get involved:
Pat welcomes volunteers to help with food transportation and set up. She is also open to donations of any kind; whether it’s money, books, car seats, bicycles and toys for Liberty City families or a used truck that can haul the food goods! Email her at PMolinari@aol.com and watch for future events on the Key Biscayne Community Foundation website HERE.