Walmart recently marked a long-term relationship that brings South African citrus products to United States consumers with a celebration.
The event, held Oct. 12 at the Walmart Supercenter in Levittown, celebrated the success of the partnership between Walmart and the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, a consortium of about 350 South African growers approved to export citrus to the U.S.
“Walmart is among the largest importers of South Africa summer citrus to the U.S.,” said Suhanra Conradie, chief executive officer of the Forum.
“With its wide retail reach, consumers in the US have access to the healthy and delicious citrus at the time when domestic citrus is unavailable.”
South Africa is the second largest exporter of citrus in the world, and has been exporting to the U.S. since 1999.
“Our relationship with South African Citrus has helped further our efforts to provide an affordable supply of healthy, safe food choices to our customers,” said Don Fox, director of global food sourcing for Walmart.
“We count on the reliability and safety of the products we receive from South Africa and we value the growers’ and suppliers commitment to exceed the rigorous standards we set. This partnership has given us confidence that we can always provide the highest quality summer citrus to our shoppers.”
Gugulethu Gingqi, consul for trade affairs at the South African Consulate New York, said the citrus export program is one example of the support Walmart provides to numerous economic programs and emerging industries in South Africa.
“The value of this export program to other emerging industries in South Africa is extremely important to South Africa’s economic future,” said Gingqi.
“This partnership is a prime example of the benefits of AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) and the successful efforts of our import and retail partners. We appreciate the opportunities that Walmart continues to provide for South African products to enter U.S. markets.”
The event held in Levittown was part of a weeklong celebration that included special promotions and samplings of South African oranges at 32 stores throughout the East Coast.
South African summer citrus is exported to the U.S. from June through October when domestic citrus is not available. South Africa’s citrus exports to the U.S. have grown annually to more than 41,000 tons since they began in 1999.
Ninth grade students at University City and Sayre High schools in West Philadelphia will be the beneficiaries of a $300,000 competitive grant received by the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships from the AT&T Aspire Local High School Impact Initiative.
The funds will support programming designed to stem the dropout crisis.
The gift was presented Oct. 4 at University City High School in ceremonies that featured Pennsylvania first lady Susan Corbett and officials from AT&T, the Netter Center and the School District of Philadelphia.
“Dropping out of school exacts a human toll,” Corbett said. “Over a lifetime, high school dropouts earn $1 million less than those with a college degree and are more likely to end up in the justice system or to require public assistance. They take a toll on the city, the state and the nation.”
This two-year grant will support the schools’ college access and career readiness program, a component of the Netter Center’s comprehensive University-Assisted Community Schools strategy. Set up inside the two high schools in 2010, the CACR programs provide students academic support and guidance in making plans.
Specifically, the grant will provide academic support and enrichment to help 700 ninth-grade students elevate their academic performance and achieve on-time promotion to the next grade. Program staff coordinators, along with university students serving as graduation coaches and tutors, will develop a support system for these students to help them succeed academically, increase their chances of earning a diploma and begin planning for post-secondary success.
UCHS Principal Timothy Stults said the CACR program there, called Student Success Center, has already made a difference. He said UCHS has seen a dramatic rise in the number of students taking advanced placement courses, the school-wide attendance rate, the graduation rate and number of students with post-secondary plans.
UCHS senior Glen Casey is an example of these improvements.
“The Student Success Center got me on a positive path. I’ve gained skills, had the opportunity to work on projects, do college-level research and meet important people,” he said, referring to his fellow speakers.
Thanking AT&T for its support, Ira Harkavy, Penn associate vice president and Netter Center director, said this program will build upon more than two decades of successful collaboration between Penn and West Philadelphia partners, “deepening the partnerships that focus on college access, career readiness, retention and completion.”
Harkavy said community partnerships also help to make Penn a better university.
William Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, who said he was tweeting Casey’s remarks as the student spoke, echoed thanks to AT&T and said he’s thrilled to have these programs in Philadelphia schools.
“We know that students exposed to college-access programs do better in school, students exposed to career-readiness programs are more successful on the job,” he said.
Sayre High School Principal Charles Ireland, himself born and raised in West Philadelphia and addressing the assembled students directly, said, “We’re all here for you. The only reason we do this work is so you guys can be successful.”
The goals of this grant go hand-in-glove with Opening Doors, the first lady’s initiative to ensure Pennsylvania youth have a promising future.
“Together with organizations like the Netter Center and committed companies like AT&T, we can help open the doors to a brighter future for our children, our Commonwealth and our nation," Corbett said.
Noting that there were thousands of applicants for the grants, Joseph Divis of AT&T External Affairs, congratulated the Netter Center and the staffs at both schools for their work, adding, “Together, we can confront the drop-out problem head-on.”
As Delaware County food pantries continue to report a dire need to stock their shelves, Delaware County Council kicked off the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, marking its 10th anniversary.
This year, the collection goal was upped to 13,000 pounds of food. County Council, the County Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), and the County Department of Intercommunity Health (ICH) will once again join forces with Magellan Behavioral Health of PA to collect non-perishable food items to distribute to families in need.
Providers involved with local food assistance programs continue to report an increasing demand for donations during challenging economic times.
Members of the public are invited to join county employees in placing donations in collection boxes, which are placed in the Government Center lobby, outside the Sheriff’s office in the Courthouse, the Fronefield Building, which houses court services, Fair Acres main lobby (building 8) and Detention Center both located in Middletown, the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) in Eddystone, Children and Youth Services (CYS) office in Chester, and the Human Services office in Upper Darby.
The Delaware County 911 Center, 360 N. Middletown Road, Middletown, has been added as a drop off location.
Delaware County Council and OBH have partnered with Magellan for 10 years to coordinate the food drive.
In 2011, the Intercommunity Health staff joined the County team, and helped boost the Food Drive collection to a record 12,053 pounds of food, which was dispersed to needy families for holiday meals. After last year’s record donation, this year’s goal is to collect and distribute 13,000 pounds of food.
In addition, Bill Chambers of OBH and Julie Brown of Magellan continue their traditional wager, which states that whoever collects the lesser amount of food must deliver their collected items wearing a large, colorful turkey costume.
County Councilman Dave White announced the start of the 2012 Food Drive at the Oct. 10 County Council meeting, encouraging participation by employees and residents doing business at the Courthouse, Government Center and all designated County Offices.
“The need for food assistance is greater now than ever. In this tough economy, it is crucial that we continue to reach out to our families in need,” said White, Council’s liaison to Human Services. “Many families have had to tighten their belts when it comes to food budgets. Those of us who are able need to extend a helping hand to those who are not as fortunate.”
Sister Sandra Lyons of the Bernardine Center, one of five Chester food pantries associated with the DelCo Interfaith Food Assistance Network (DIFAN), said the number of families seeking food assistance continues to climb in this weak economy.
“Many families are struggling because of under employment and low wages, and have already spent their ‘rainy day funds’ leaving them with no safety net to fall back on,” Sandra said.
Serving as the DIFAN director, Sister Sandra stated that in 2011-2012, DIFAN food pantries provided 1.3 million meals to Delaware County families, an increase of 200,000 meals over the prior year.
“During that time, the number of families seeking DIFAN food assistance increased 10.7 percent. In many cases, families that come to us are no longer just supplementing their limited food supply; they are coming to meet their family’s basic daily food needs,” she said.
Already in 2012-2013, Sister Sandra said that food pantry staff is seeing new individuals who lost the safety of their General Assistance (GA), which was recently deleted from the state’s budget. The County’s food purchase budget also took a hit this year when the State’s Department of Agriculture reduced the State Food Purchase Program budget by 20 percent.
“So, while the number of families in need has increased, there has been a significant reduction in resources available to meet their needs,” she said.
Delaware County Council, OBH, ICH and Magellan are co-sponsors of the 2012 Food Drive, in conjunction with Family and Community Service in Media and the agency’s DelCo Interfaith Food Assistance Network (DIFAN).
Suggested items for donation include canned meats (chicken, tuna, chicken and dumplings), boxed or canned side dishes, peanut butter, jelly, unsweetened cereal, infant formula, coffee, tea, canned tomatoes or sauce and canned fruits and soups, especially main dish soups with meat.
Individuals who want to make donations or families who want information about the DIFAN food pantries can call Family and Community Service, at (610) 566-7540. For more information about the 2012 Delaware County Food Drive, contact OBH at (610) 713-2365.
Jazz ensemble, the Ron Carter Trio, is set to perform here next month as part of Montgomery County Community College’s Lively Arts Series.
The performance is scheduled for Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.
The tour is made possible by a grant of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.
Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music's greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons.
Hailing from Detroit, Carter has appeared on more than 2,500 albums, making him one of the most-recorded bassists in jazz history.
Originally a cellist, Carter ran into difficulties regarding the racial stereotyping of classical musicians and instead moved to bass. He attended the historic Cass Tech High School in Detroit, and, later, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Eastman in 1959 and a master’s degree in double bass performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 1961.
His first gigs as a jazz musician were with jazz legends Jaki Byard and Chico Hamilton, and his first records were with Eric Dolphy and Don Ellis. But Carter really came to fame via the second great Miles Davis Quintet in the early 1960s. He eventually recorded a dozen albums with Miles and another half dozen each with Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock, making him the most sought after first call bassist in the modern jazz era.
After leaving Davis, Carter was for several years a mainstay of Creed Taylor’s legendary CTI Records, making albums under his own name and also appearing on many of the label’s records with a diverse range of other musicians.
Today, Carter tours regularly with his own trio comprised of the great Mulgrew Miller on piano and the legendary Russell Malone on guitar, each an extraordinary virtuoso on their respective instrument and leaders in his own right.
Ron Carter sits on the Advisory Committee of the Board of Directors of The Jazz Foundation of America as well as the Honorary Founder’s Committee. Ron has worked with the Jazz Foundation since its inception to save the homes and the lives of America’s elderly jazz and blues musicians including musicians that survived Hurricane Katrina.
As an educator, Carter was Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Music Department of The City College of New York, having taught there for twenty years, and received an honorary Doctorate from the Berklee College of Music, in Spring 2004.
Arcadia University’s School of Global Business in collaboration with the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and with support from the Kauffman Foundation is accepting applications for the Young Entrepreneurs Academic (YEA!) program, which educates high school students about innovation and entrepreneurship.
The program starts on Nov. 14 and runs through June 2013.
The 30-week program is an afterschool, noncredit course, being held at Arcadia University. Classes will be held Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. through June 2013 in the University Commons student center located at 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, Montgomery County.
The YEA! Program takes high school students through the process of starting and running a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year.
It provides an introduction to the business world, combining curriculum with experience of local industry leaders, community members, educators and entrepreneurs.
Students will develop business ideas and objectives, write business plans, and explore how to obtain funding, develop and manage media campaigns, and run sales events. The program aims to help students to transform ideas into enterprises of economic and social value and to foster the entrepreneurial mindset in young adults.
“The Young Entrepreneurship Academy is an innovative program that teaches young future entrepreneurs to embrace their passion, live their dream, and eventually change the world,” said N.J. Delener, Ph.D. Founding Dean of the School of Global Business at Arcadia University. “These young promising entrepreneurs are able, in the class, to identify the things that they love doing and are good at and put those together to come up with a great idea for business. I am very pleased that Arcadia’s School of Global Business will be instrumental in discovering future entrepreneurs. One of our missions is to enhance Arcadia University community engagement. As an educator, it feels rewarding to be a part of this process.”