Taste of Immokalee is a benefit corporation with a mission to provide “hands-on” experience in all aspects of business with a focus on social entrepreneurship to give back to the community of Immokalee.
This year the students organized a fundraising event during Super Bowl whereby they collaborated with two churches in Naples- Naples United Church of Christ and Golden Gate Assembly of God- to sell salsa and chip baskets. A portion of the proceeds from each sale went back to two organizations in Immokalee- the Immokalee Child Care Center and the Immokalee Pregnancy Center. The event was very successful and the students purchased much needed items for these two organizations- new born baby clothes, pillows, stuff animals, pillow cases, basketballs, foot balls, kitchen utensils, cd players, markers, etc.
Taste of Immokalee is more than products; it is the story of how children from a socio-economically underserved area use entrepreneurship to begin a journey of social change. It is the story of how a small group of high school students started a movement that can be replicated in areas like their town of Immokalee.
Two years ago, sixteen students from Immokalee High School participated in a mentorship program sponsored by One by One Leadership Foundation. The organization received a grant from State Farm to fund an entrepreneurial experience and from this project the idea to start a food business was formed. The students played with recipes inspired by the diversity and energy of Immokalee and from that they started a new food line called “Taste of Immokalee”. The students designed every detail of the final products and promoted the food line by starting a business to commercialize their efforts. They are involved in all aspects of the company, from production to sales and marketing with the supervision of an adult Board.
Today, the products are sold in stores such as Wynn’s Market, Neighborhood Organic, Oaks Farm, and all the Publix Supermarkets in Naples.
Taste of Immokalee is student entrepreneurs creating a better tomorrow for their community.
The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.