Navarre resident Michelle Abrams, co-founder of the Navarre Weekend Food Program, has been named the national winner of Culver’s Restaurant “Portrait of a Hero” contest.
Craig Culver, co-founder of the restaurant chain, made the presentation Tuesday at the Navarre franchise, which is owned by Randy and Honey Smith. Culver presented Abrams with a $500 donation to the charity of her choice and a $500 Culver’s gift card.
Abrams said the award was a win for all of Navarre because “the community made it happen.”
According to the company, the promotion invited communities across the nation to nominate someone who goes above and beyond every day to make a difference.
Abrams was one of 25 finalists and ultimately received 1,100 votes out of more than 10,000 cast.
“Michelle saw a huge need in the community to develop a Weekend Food Program for hundreds of children in need who many not have food to eat during the weekend,” said Paul Pitas, Director of Public Relations and Communications for Culver’s.
The Navarre Weekend Food Program is completely funded by donations from the community and support from volunteers rallied by Abrams.
Bags of food are packed by volunteers on Thursday nights at Navarre Youth Sports Association gym then distributed to area schools on Friday mornings. Caring teachers discreetly place food bags in children’s back packs while they are out of the class, so as not to embarrass them or make them feel bad about their situation.
“We exist solely on donations and every dollar is spent on procuring the food. We don’t get paid and any program expenses such as business cards, and other business expenses are absorbed by us personally or through generous people who step up to help us cover those,” Abrams told South Santa Rosa News last year.
“We exist solely on donations and every dollar is spent on procuring the food. We don’t get paid and any program expenses such as business cards, and other business expenses are absorbed by us personally or through generous people who step up to help us cover those,” Abrams said.
On an average weekend the program feeds 400 children for about $2.50 each per week.
For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to the program visit weekendfoodprogram.org.