Coronavirus Florida: Good deeds punished in sugar-enviro charity spat

Coronavirus Florida: Good deeds punished in sugar-enviro charity spat

Hannah Morse @mannahhorse May 7, 2020 at 11:03 AM A $30,000 donation to a nonprofit borne out of the coronavirus pandemic pits Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell against longtime foes U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals. * TO OUR READERS: This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Palm Beach Post. If you want breaking coronavirus news directly in your inbox, sign up for our Coronavirus Newsletter. * The clash between the sugar industry and a powerful environmental group reached a new, ugly plateau this week after politicians representing the Glades admonished a nonprofit feeding the hungry for declining a $30,000 donation from three sugar companies. A scathing letter — signed by Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, Pahokee Mayor Keith Babb Jr., South Bay Mayor Joe Kyles Sr. and Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay — accused Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell of turning down the donation from U.S. Sugar, Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative to “score cheap political points during this time of crisis.” But Mitchell and restaurateur Rodney Mayo, whose nonprofit Hospitality Helping Hands, known as H3, provided thousands of free meals for weeks to Glades residents suffering during the coronavirus crisis, say the letter was inaccurate and “insulting.” “It’s completely fabricated for political purposes. It’s so unfortunate,” Mitchell said. The letter claims that “politics trumped charity” when Mitchell, a former West Palm Beach city commissioner, put “her personal anti-farmer feelings over the health and safety of thousands of Glades families in our district and cities.” Mitchell refuted the letter’s contents, especially the “anti-farmer” claim, saying, “We love farmers.” >>EXCLUSIVE: Patients in Florida had symptoms as early as January The fate of farmers has long been […]

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