Check out this Fall Recipe from our Grace Garden Cookbook!
Do you find yourself with a surplus of canned tuna leftover from hurricane Irma and unsure what to do with it?
Below are our two favorite resources for what to do with all of your stockpiled canned tuna bought for storm supplies. Enjoy!
Labor day is approaching, and for us that means it is time to breakout the grill! Don't have any BBQ sauce at home? Try this recipe and make it at home! Use it on steaks, pork, salmon, chicken or anything else you throw on the grill.
Basic Barbeque Sauce Yield: 3 Cups
Mirin (Sweet Sake)
Hot Red Chilies, Dried, Seeds Removed
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup (firmly packed)
2 each or to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce is dark, thick and rich, stirring frequently to keep from burning.
- Adjust sweetness, sourness and hot pepper to taste.
Side Dishes on the Grill
When we think of grilling, we think of meat- big Flintstone sized hunks of it. But, veggies and fruits are great on the grill too! In fact, if you balance out your plate with produce, your brontosaurus steak can fit right in with your health goals. When grilling veggies, don’t forget the flavor! Salad dressings make a great marinade or try a dry spice rub. Almost any dried spice blend will do; try lemon pepper, Cajun spice or even a toss in curry paste. Always turn frequently to get that smoky char without burning your dinner! Some ideas for great grilled sides:
- Corn on the cob- place directly on the grill and rotate to get grill “stripes” down the length of the cob. Serve with a sprinkle of chili powder and a squeeze of lime.
- Potatoes or sweet potatoes- cut large ones in half then pierce with a fork all over, roll in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place directly on the grill grate or wrap in foil and place in the coals.
- Asparagus cooks well lain crosswise across the grill grates to keep from falling into the flame.
- Vegetable skewers- fast and convenient; use similar sized items so that they cook evenly. Whole mushroom, cherry tomato, yellow pepper and onion skewers go great with that steak!
- For smaller vegetable pieces, foil packets are the way to go. Just use a double layer of foil to keep them from bursting.
- Salad on the grill! Grill romaine lettuce halves for 2-3 minutes or just until slightly wilted. Serve with Caesar dressing and parmesan cheese or with blue cheese dressing and chopped bacon pieces.
Whatever you decide to grill, remember main reason why we BBQ—being outside in the fresh air with the company of good friends and family is the best seasoning that any meal could have!
The Chef and the Dietitian
This year’s Back to School with BEAM event was held on Saturday, August 5th at Beach Church (325 7th Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach). BEAM welcomed several hundred families and served almost 1,000 children, ages pre-school through high school, who are residents in the communities of Mayport, Atlantic, Neptune, Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beaches. Back to School with BEAM is one of the organizations many annual events that help low-income families.
This was the 24th year that BEAM has provided children with much-needed necessities including new backpacks and grade-appropriate school supplies, new underwear, a voucher for a new pair of shoes, and an opportunity to “shop for free” for new and gently used clothing. One parent who came to the event commented, “Back to School with BEAM helped provide us with things we needed and we don’t spend as much money and we can save up. The best part was the help from all the volunteers.” Volunteer, Carolyn Seymour, who helped at the backpack station said, “The community support never ceases to amaze me. It never gets old watching the excitement on the faces on the children when they select their backpack.”
This event is truly a community event and it is only people thanks to the amazing people right here in our community. Partners for this year’s event included: Beach Church, Beaches Community Fund, Beaches Resource Center, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Community Presbyterian Church, Deerwood Rotary, The Exchange Club, First Christian Church of the Beaches, JAX Chamber Beaches Division, Malik’s Gifts, Oceanside Rotary, READ USA, Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach and Target (Jacksonville Beach).
Charles is a single father of a 3 year old son who is attending the new Early Headstart Program in Jacksonville Beach. When we first met him, he and his son were residing in a downtown shelter. His son’s mother had suddenly abandoned the child in New York, and Charles lost his job due to the time he took off to bring his son back to Florida.
He was referred to BEAM through the Early Headstart Program. We were able to assist him with clothes and shoes appropriate for interviewing and connected him to a local business looking for help. Charles got the job and is on his way to providing a stable home for his son.
It is thanks to you that we are able to give people like Charles a helping hand when they are going through emergencies. Through our programs and by connecting clients to other resources, we are able to work as a safety net on their journey towards self-sufficiency.
As we begin our Spring & Summer season, please keep BEAM Thrift in mind as begin your spring cleaning. We are in the most need of:
- Women’s summer clothing (tops, shorts, and shoes in particular)
- Men’s shorts & shirts
- Children’s shorts & tops
We accept donations at the 7North location Monday – Saturday from 9AM – 5PM. Our trucks are available for pick-up of large donations such as furniture. To schedule a pick-up, please call Judy at 904-853-6246.
Shoppers came out in great numbers to help celebrate our 1st Anniversary Tent Event at the 7North location and enjoyed all the beautiful weather, hot dogs and great deals. Thank you for making 2016 a great year for BEAM Thrift!
Trey is a father of two young children and takes time out once a week to come volunteer at BEAM helping clients with food stamp and Medicaid applications.
"I am relatively new to the BEAM family. I am honored to be the volunteer spotlight. Between balancing family life and pursuing a Master’s degree in social work in a distant learning program at FSU I would say I am a busy individual. BEAM makes it a point to put the volunteer first, which allows people with busy schedules to give back to their community. When you think life is too busy, think again because BEAM has a spot for you on their team and you won’t regret it. BEAM has given me the opportunity to jumpstart my “helping” profession by giving back to my local community. I am excited to grow with BEAM and to continue serving my community.”
The winter growing season has been prolific! The cold nights and sunny days have given us a bug and disease free growing season. We have had a steady crop of kale, collard greens, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, peas and lots of fragrant winter herbs.
Over the past few months we have been working on a new project, partnering with the City of Atlantic Beach, The Clinton Foundation Health Matters Initiative, Jacksonville University, and Atlantic Beach Urban Farms to bring a weekly farmers market to Mayport residents. Mayport has been identified as a “food desert” by the USDA; indicating a low-income area with limited access to healthy food due to the absence of grocery stores and limited access to transportation. The Atlantic Beach City Market opened February 17 and BEAM participated with a wonderful selection of Grace Garden produce available for sale. We are proud to be able to offer fresh, healthy food to our Mayport clients. In addition, shoppers who use SNAP or EBT will be able to double their benefits to purchase up to $20 of locally grown produce each week. We envision the new market, located at the southwest corner of Mayport Road and Dutton Island Road, as a gathering place for the entire community. Please come by and check it out!
With a new spring growing season approaching we are busy starting our tomato and pepper seeds in the greenhouse, as well as planting potatoes outside. Next we will start squash and cucumber followed by eggplant and okra. Remember, volunteering in Grace Garden is a great way to hone (or develop) your gardening skills. Please consider volunteering. You’ll learn a lot and have a great time!
BEAM has started a partnership with the First Coast YMCA to help
implement the yearlong CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program in our community. Participants meet weekly for lessons on healthy lifestyle behaviors, barriers to change and group support in facilitating that change. At each meeting, BEAM provides a healthy dinner and last week the clients got to harvest their own greens from the garden tower to make the salad for dinner.
Our own Linda Gilberto, program manager for the Single Parent Project is moving on to enjoy a well deserved retirement. Her impact on the women in the program has been profound. We truly appreciate her years of service to BEAM and wish her well.
In recent years, donors have informed us of their intention to include a gift to BEAM in their wills. These gifts provide an estate tax deduction and have a tremendous impact on our ability to plan for the future and serve those in need in our community. If you would like information on how to include BEAM in your will or estate plan, please contact:
Susan King, Executive Director
(904) 241-7437 x 1
Dear Friends of BEAM,
Spring is the season of new beginnings. Our gardeners plant seeds in Grace Garden, fresh buds bloom and the earth seems to come to life again. The timing of these changes varies depending upon location, and lucky for us, winter ended early because we have a busy 2017 ahead!
2016 was a year of adding facilities, staff and volunteers to better serve the community. With the expansion of our thrift operations to the new location at 7north, we are creating a sustainable revenue stream to help fund our programs. The addition of The Beaches Community Food Bank has significantly improved our ability to provide additional, fresher food to our own pantries and to other local agencies with food assistance programs. An impact summary of BEAM’s services in 2016 can be seen on the front page.
Also during 2016, our Board of Directors embarked on an ambitious strategic planning initiative. Over a period of months we evaluated our current service offerings and imagined how we could be better and more effective at meeting community need. The result is a significant shift in how we look at assistance.
The reality is that people come to us hungry. But hunger is often a symptom of other things; poverty, underemployment, illness that prevents working and a host of other issues. People come to us unable to pay their rent or utility bill when previously they managed. The “emergency” is often a symptom; legal issues, a significant car repair, or a simple lack of financial skills. Beginning in 2017, BEAM will begin to move away from solely providing “emergency” financial assistance to a model that includes evaluation and case management for those who may benefit. This is a fundamental shift in approach and engages the client in creating their own solutions with our help. We will also require a basic financial management course for anyone seeking assistance for a second time. We believe that these enhancements to our current programs will help us to affect real change in people’s lives and not just a “band-aid” approach to emergency assistance.
But, to be sure, none of the accomplishments of the past or the successes of the future would be possible without the extraordinary support of this community. Whether through financial support, volunteer support, or donations to our food pantries and thrift stores, BEAM is able to serve those in need because of YOU. Please know that every day I feel the blessings of your generosity and am truly grateful.
Please consider the advantages of donating appreciated stock. A gift of stock not only helps the families
we serve but may be a great tax-savings benefit to you. For more information please contact Susan King at
(904) 241-7437 X1 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generosity and support!!
October 2016 marks my 5 year anniversary of joining BEAM as its Executive Director. To say that these years have been full of change is a great understatement! From our expanded pantry operations and the addition of Grace Garden, to the opening of three BEAM Thrift stores, and to our most recent addition of the Beaches Community Food Bank, each year has been marked by growth. It is a blessing and a gift to work for an organization that is nimble and responsive to the needs of the community and the people it serves. When we saw that increasingly the food we receive from grocery stores was perishable and not the dented cans and damaged boxes of the past, we responded by adding cold storage facilities and refrigerated trucks. When we saw that government and foundation funding for assistance programs such as ours were being cut, we opened the thrift stores to help create sustainable funding streams so that we could continue to help our neighbors in times of financial crisis.
Our objective always is to meet community need but not to duplicate great work that is already going on. To that end, we will be discontinuing our Christmas Toy program this year. For many years we have been providing toys to children in the community who might otherwise do without. But over the last few years we have seen an enormous increase in the number of churches and organizations providing the same service. Rather than continue to duplicate services that are already available, we are focusing our efforts on our core programs. Hunger is a problem every day for 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 4 children. And families living paycheck to paycheck, often lose their housing or have their lights turned off during a financial crisis. We are in a unique position to address these very significant needs in our community and hope that you will support our efforts.
This year we will be assisting our local St Vincent de Paul Society as they expand their very successful Christmas program to ensure that no child goes without a visit from Santa. We will work with them to sign up the families who come to BEAM for services and share any donated toys with them. We will also be providing information to connect families who need help to the many organizations that provide toys during the holidays.
Although we are discontinuing this program, our recent completion by our Board of Directors of a Strategic Planning initiative will bring future expansion of services to our community. We are excited about the future of the organization and the opportunity to serve in an efficient and impactful way. Thank you for your generous support with your time, talent and treasure. Our entire community is lifted up when we care for those in need.
The people who seek services at BEAM are our neighbors and often become our friends. In our March 2015 newsletter, we introduced you to Paul, a 91-year-old gentleman who occasionally relies on BEAM for food and sometimes for financial assistance when his very limited income may be stretched too thin.
A couple of years ago, while shopping at Walmart, Paul met Cecelia, a 58 year old woman who was newly homeless and undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She was very ill and needed a place to stay so Paul offered to have her move into his very small apartment. As the cancer spread and Cecilia decided to discontinue treatment, Paul was always there for her. During this time, Paul and Cecelia frequented BEAM for food assistance and help in dealing with Cecelia’s illness. He never left her, and often they visited just for a sympathetic ear.
Sadly, Cecilia lost her battle with cancer on September 26, 2016. We share Paul’s sadness at her passing and will miss her beautiful smile.
“I was the first one of us to volunteer at BEAM. My neighbor volunteered in the front office one morning a week and suggested I come visit and see for myself. She asked me to fill in for her while she was away and I’ve been here ever since.
I decided I wanted to also try volunteering in the food pantry and they needed someone on Monday afternoons. This was during the time that the pantry was included in the building with the offices and it was often barely controlled chaos – but also fun!
Austin decided to join us on Monday afternoons and we both continue to love doing it. We have both also volunteered at the Back to School event each August for the past several years. We have done the backpacks with Karen Wolfson.
We have seen so many changes – opening the new pantry, Grace Garden, computerized client records to mention only a few. All initiated by Susan King’s leadership. BEAM continues to be a very special part of our lives.”