St. Simons Island Rotary Club and District 6920 Announce Global Grant of Nearly $300,000 for Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria
The St. Simons Island Rotary Club and District 6920 have received approval for a Global Grant of nearly $300,000 to help rebuild sustainable agriculture in Puerto Rico, making this the largest grant approved for the island to date. The Grant was made possible through the efforts of District Governor Margaret Jacobs and the clubs in District 6920, District Governor Juanita Morris and District 7000 in Puerto Rico, with the support of other clubs, organizations and individuals in the United States and internationally.
The St. Simons Island Club is partnering with the San Juan Rotary Club in Puerto Rico and Para la Naturaleza, a non-profit focused on Puerto Rico’s natural ecosystem, on a 12-month project that will be pivotal for an economy which currently imports over 90% of its food.
Para la Naturaleza’s post-hurricane relief efforts spawned their Habitat division, which will carry out this project. The Grant will train farmers and distributors across regions and climates to grow the fresh foods best suited to their specific habitat. To encourage economic recovery and growth, the project includes training for marketing and sales. Harvests will be sold in farmers’ markets, local shops and restaurants, as well as to hotels and resorts across the island. The project will also provide cooking classes dedicated to dealing with fresh foods.
“We are thrilled at the chance to bring these communities sustainable skills so that when disasters like hurricanes strike, they will not suffer such extreme devastation” said Leslie Mattingly, member of the St. Simons Island Rotary Club and a champion of this Grant.
Because this project will be focusing primarily on the western third of the island, individuals, Rotary clubs and non-Rotary organizations have the opportunity to consider setting money aside towards grants that could expand the project to other parts of Puerto Rico in coming years.
For more information about the Grant and its specific goals, follow the link to Mattingly’s interview: https://bit.ly/2IJK9BU
Contributions to the Grant include the District Designated Funds (DDF) for Rotary District 6920, the St. Simon’s Island Rotary Club, the Skidaway Island Club, the Hinesville Club, the Glennville Club, the Metro Savannah Club, the Hawkinsville Club, the Valdosta-North Club, the Brunswick Club, the Jesup Club, the DDF for District 7570, the World Fund, PRxPR, Atlanticus, and many more.
ABOUT ROTARY DISTRICT 6920
Rotarians are volunteers who work locally and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio under the motto “Service Above Self.” District 6920 consists of 64 clubs with a membership of over 3,200 Rotary Members.
St. Simons Island Rotary Club