Food For The Poor in Jamaica
Jamaica, the first country assisted by Food For The Poor, today includes more than 5,000 churches and institutions as partners in the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items. Food For The Poor-Jamaica’s office and warehouse complex is located in Spanish Town at the intersection of five highways, which leads to all parts of the island. Food For The Poor completed more than 250 projects over the past 5 years.
Housing, education and agriculture are major areas of focus, all with the goal of meeting the immediate needs of the poorest of the poor, and helping the destitute rise out of poverty.
- The charity continues to replace dilapidated shacks across the island with permanent housing. In 2013, Food For The Poor, through the generosity of donors, constructed 2,456 housing units. Since inception, the charity has built 36,903 housing units island-wide. Thousands of people remain on the waiting list to receive Food For The Poor housing.
- Food For The Poor embarked on a program to improve literacy and ensure that the poorest children receive nutritious meals by providing impoverished schools with the necessary infrastructure. To meet the ongoing needs of schools island-wide, the charity developed three standard structures. Since 2006, more than 145 educational facilities have been built, extended or renovated. More than 75 of these are complete school buildings and 36 of which have been funded through the Jamaica 50 campaign which promises to build 50 schools in honor of Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.
- FFP School Construction Program – Self-contained wooden schoolhouse comprised of classroom space, office space, kitchen and sanitation.
- FFP School Multipurpose Facility – Used for a variety of school needs including: additional classroom space for overcrowded schools, library/reading rooms to increase literacy, labs to teach computer skills, lunchrooms to improve nutritional and health standards and guidance counselor centers to enable educators to address the psychological and emotional needs of the children in a private environment.
- Food For The Poor’s Angels Of Hope program works with 21 children's homes in Jamaica. Without these orphanages, many children would be faced with the horrors of living on the streets.
- Agricultural development has been essential in developing food security and in helping small farmers and institutions become self-sufficient since 2004. Food For The Poor’s Rural Economic Agricultural Program (REAP) assists more than 120,000 farmers with seeds and tools including gas-operated water pumps and tillers. Food For The Poor provides funding and technical expertise to help inner-city communities, farmers, schools, orphanages and other institutions learn how to produce crops and raise livestock to eat and to sell.
- The charity continues to monitor and train the fishermen of 16 Food For The Poor fishing villages located throughout the island to become more productive with environmentally sound fishing techniques. FFP continues to seek and implement new techniques such as installing Fish Attracting Devices to enable fishermen to bring in larger catches.
- Medicines and other medical supplies are provided to clinics and hospitals across the island. Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplies including walkers and wheelchairs are provided to needy recipients, and medical equipment such as hospital beds, EKG and dialysis machines help to outfit hospitals. Food For The Poor’s Our Lady of the Poor Clinic serves over 10,000 patients every year. The charity conducts health fairs in rural and urban impoverished communities island-wide and provides ongoing assistance to elderly homes, and other institutions.
- Since 2003, Food For The Poor’s Fresh Start Prison Ministry program has assisted in freeing over 475 individuals and training, and reintroducing approximately 4,000 persons into the community as productive citizens. The Prison Ministry Program releases inmates who have committed minor offenses. Inmates are released twice per year – during the Easter and Christmas seasons. Less than 1% of those assisted return to prison.
- Food For The Poor’s Computer Distribution program has donated more than 4,000 computer stations to schools and underserved neighborhood institutions to teach computer literacy.
- Since 2007, Food For The Poor has donated more than 50 marching band sets aimed at reducing inner-city violence. Marching bands give the children far more than music lessons; they teach social interaction, group membership, discipline and responsibility, while also providing a creative and artistic outlet.