Often times, we’re asked how our GROW program works. Most customers know that a portion of GROW banana sales goes back to helping the farm workers and their families, but don’t necessarily know what it entails. We’ve compiled a list of common questions that your customers may ask and hope that you find this helpful when explaining how the GROW program works.

Who handles the GROW Fund and makes sure the funds are distributed correctly? We work directly with a non-profit called “Project Amigo.” They’re based in Colima and distribute the funds among their programs that help farm workers and their children. Without the help of the GROW Fund, Project Amigo would not be able to sustain their mission of helping improve the lifestyles of the workers of Colima.

What programs does the GROW Fund contribute to? The GROW Fund contributes to scholarship programs, a study center, health services, Casa Amiga, an endowment program and scholarship funds.

How are the funds distributed? More than half of the funds go to scholarship programs, which helps hardworking and bright students earn an education they’d normally not be able to receive. The GROW study center receives funding that enables students to have computer access, study materials and a safe and quiet place to learn. A portion of the funds provide health programs and services, including dental and vision care.

Who selects the students for GROW scholarships, and what’s the process like?Principles of Project Amigo personally review applications submitted by students. Their acceptance is based on their application, grades, citizenship, financial need and individual goals. Once a student is accepted, it is the goal of the program to keep them as a GROW scholar through the completion of their college program if appropriate.Each year Project Amigo chooses new students to support, starting with middle school applicants.

What part of the GROW program receives the largest percentage of the funds raised? Scholarship funds. Education is extremely important to us and important to the scholarship recipients. We take great pride in helping promising students fulfill their dreams and goals, and to help them learn how to build stronger communities.

How many people has GROW helped to date? GROW and Project Amigo have helped about 400 people annually through one program or another. Since we see the need for additional support, we hope to GROW that number significantly over time!

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