First Coast Chapter
The First Coast Chapter provides weekend nutrition to over 5,500 children through 46 School Partners in three counties: Clay, Duval and St. Johns. To maximize impact and fiscal efficiency, we partner directly with local schools to identify the students they know firsthand to be undernourished and food insecure. Blessings also partners directly with each county school administration, establishing a data-driven approach to our strategic nutrition plan, based on identified student needs. Working together, we create a full week of healthy meals for our most vulnerable students. This year we provided 200,000 Hunger Free Weekends. Next year our Goal is 220,000.
Who will feed the kids this weekend?
Together, we will!
University of Florida
Charmaine Crockett, CSX Transportation
Charmaine was introduced to First Coast Blessings through a PSA by Vice President Kamala Harris. When she and two other CSX fellows were selected to join the National African American Women’s Leadership Institute (NAAWLI), they choose Blessings as their community outreach project where she received firsthand knowledge of the needs in our community and how Blessings worked to address them.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Blessings advisory board at this critical juncture. I’ve long admired their commitment to addressing the needs of vulnerable children in our community and that’s especially been the case during the extraordinary disruptions of the pandemic.” Charmaine Crockett continues, “There’s so much important work to be done on addressing the nutritional needs of children that depend on their schools for food and I’m thrilled to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
Paris Owens, Nemours Children’s Health
Paris Owens is the Assistant Vice President, Northeast Florida Practice Administrator for Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville. He has been in the hospital operations field for over 18 years and has a strong understanding of what it takes to ensure that the highest quality of care is maintained in all aspects of hospital operations. Paris has a master’s degree in business administration and has worked at several hospitals and medical offices throughout his career. He is well-versed in hospital and ambulatory clinics day to day operations.
Paris is a leader and mentor, with a commitment to ensuring his team succeeds. He is passionate about developing and implementing new strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hospital. Paris is passionate about providing the best patient care experience and works tirelessly to ensure that all patients are receiving the best care possible. Paris is also deeply committed to ensuring that all hospital staff work in a safe and efficient environment. He is always looking for ways to improve operations and is a strong advocate for patient safety. He is a highly organized and detail-oriented individual, with a passion for providing excellent patient care.
Shivam Shah, The Wharton School of Business
Shivam is currently a student at the Wharton School studying urban education and finance. His unique journey to Blessings began at Nease High School where he volunteered with the Blessings Souper Bowl event team. Since coming to Wharton, he has researched a scalable solution for food inequity with Professor Greg Goldman in the Urban Studies Department and has interned at a food inequity nonprofit. Additionally, he serves in leadership capacities across many clubs and serves as the Wharton Class Chair.
“I volunteer with Blessings because I know this mission can and does make a genuine impact on children’s lives. I have seen it happen. My commitment as an Advisory Board member is to use my professional skills and personal experience to improve and expand operations with the goal of providing additional Blessings weekend meals for children struggling with hunger.”