COVID-19 Pandemic Anniversary: Food For The Poor Responds Internationally and in U.S.
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 11, 2021) As new cases of COVID-19 have declined in the worst spots around the world, they’re still rising in places like Jamaica, one year into a pandemic that has devastated economies in the most vulnerable countries and pushed tens of thousands of people into food lines to be able to feed their families.
The Caribbean and Latin America, which includes many countries served by Food For The Poor, face a recovery expected to take longer than in other parts of the world.
Economies in the region may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was and still is an emergency that will overshadow anything we might see in our lifetime,” said Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine. “It’s not just how we responded as an organization, but our partners, our donors, everybody kept going. But much work remains to be done to help these families get back on their feet.”
While Food For The Poor primarily works internationally, the dire needs of families in Florida also captured the charity’s attention. FFTP responded with local churches to provide aid to many who found themselves unemployed and unable to afford to buy basic supplies.
The number of new COVID-19 cases has declined, driven largely by improvements in places that weathered devastating outbreaks earlier in the winter, such as Colombia. Hospitals there that have the highest rates of infection are receiving fewer patients.
Over a 28-day stretch in January and February, new cases were down 71 percent in Colombia and 50 percent in the Dominican Republic, according to news reports.
But many countries are still struggling. Jamaica saw new cases jump more than 200 percent in the same period.
“We hope that people will continue to listen to the safety protocols,” said Craig Moss-Solomon, Executive Director of Food For The Poor-Jamaica. “Wear your masks. Keep your hands sanitized. Observe social distancing. Keep your contact with individuals down to a minimum.”
In 2020, the charity shipped 455 containers of COVID-19 aid, including 432 to the countries it serves and 23 to help families in Florida and elsewhere in the United States.
Additional containers of food were purchased directly from businesses and suppliers in the countries.
The charity collaborated with churches in South Florida and across the state to distribute critically needed household items like shampoo, detergent and baby diapers to local families in need.
The household goods were provided by Matthew 25: Ministries, a longtime FFTP partner.
FFTP also teamed up with the Florida State Council of the Knights of Columbus to help families throughout Florida.
And the charity donated 350 protective suits through Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale to Pompano Beach Fire Rescue to help their workers prevent transmission of COVID-19. The protective suits were donated to FFTP by partner Gleaning For The World.
“2020 created all kinds of challenges for everyone,” said FFTP’s Raine. “And we’re still dealing with the long-term effects. We give our thanks to the Lord and to our donors – to all of those that continued to share their generosity and help desperate families in their time of need.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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