Miami-Dade County

July 26, 2014

Friends and Neighbors: Campaign raises money to feed hungry school children

Local food banks want to help children who often go hungry get what they need to thrive in school. Community support is needed.

Local food banks want to help children who often go hungry get what they need to thrive in school. Community support is needed.

Winn-Dixie recently launched the Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program in all its stores. Through work with Feeding South Florida and other regional food banks, the company hopes to help the one out of five children who don’t know where they will get their next meal.

Customers are encouraged to donate a dollar as they complete their shopping at any store register through Aug. 19. The mission is “Give a dollar. Help fill a backpack.”

Every dollar donated will go directly to regional food banks to help fill backpacks with nutritious foods, said Rondel Hartwell, Winn-Dixie’s director of community involvement and charitable giving.

“As a community food provider, no issue touches the heart of our customers and associates more than childhood hunger,” Hartwell said. “It’s our belief that no child should ever go hungry and that every child deserves nutritious meals and a healthy start to life.”

In all Miami area stores, customer donations go directly to Feeding South Florida.

Winn-Dixie has a long history of supporting its neighborhoods and communities through charitable donation programs. Founded in 1925, Winn-Dixie employs more than 48,000 associates who serve customers in 546 grocery stores and 418 in-store pharmacies throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

“The Winn-Dixie Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program provides a quick and easy way for our communities to help give hungry children a nutritious meal,” Hartwell said.


Forensic scientist turned best-selling novelist Lisa Black will talk about her path in publishing at the next brunch gathering of the South Florida Writers Association. The group will meet from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Pinecrest Library, 5835 S.W. 111 St.

Black is known for her suspenseful books involving forensic discovery and amateur sleuthing. The Price of Innocence is the latest in her Theresa MacLean mystery series.

She turned to mystery writing after working for five years as a forensic scientist for the coroner’s office in Cuyahoga County, Ohio analyzing gunshot residue, DNA, fibers, blood and other forms of trace evidence on murder victims.

After moving to Florida, she turned to writing while continuing to work in the field as a latent fingerprint examiner for the City of Cape Coral Police Department.

Black has lectured at many conventions and is a member of the writing groups Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She is also a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts and is certified by the American Board of Criminalistics. She has had more than 741 hours of instruction in forensic topics and has testified in over 50 trials.

The cost for brunch is $10 for SFWA members, $12 for guests. Make a reservation by July 30 to To learn more about this group visit


Treat yourself to a relaxing summer tea party while helping to raise money to provide injured veterans with life-changing service dogs.

The Coco Plum Woman’s Club will hold its Ann’s Seventh Annual English Tea Party at 2 p.m., Aug. 13 at its historic headquarters at 1375 Sunset Dr. in Coral Gables.

There will be door prizes as well as prizes for the most elegant, funny and original hats. Proceeds go to Canine Companions for Independence for Veterans.

Admission is $20. Reserve your place at the tea party by calling Nadine LaGuette at 305-856-1816, or send an email to Heike Leibkuchler at The reservation deadline is Aug. 8.

To learn more about Canine Companions for Independence visit

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