Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Over 3,000 persons benefit from Food For the Poor Christmas treat

Published:Friday | December 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Wheelchair bound Vinnette Green dances to songs from Roy Rayon, as her grandson, Justin Brooks, playfully hangs on to the singer. They were all enjoying the festivities at Food for the Poor’s annual Christmas Treat for over 3,000 indigent persons, held at Emmett Park in Kingston yesterday.
Food For The Poor volunteer Keisha Walker (left) serves Sharon Taylor a meal.
Salvation Army Commissioner Devon Haughton (left) greets and serves a meal to Jusiah Barrett at the Food For The Poor annual Christmas treat for more than 3,000 indigent persons at Emmett Park in Kingston yesterday.
Hundreds of persons came out early for Food For The Poor’s annual Christmas treat at Emmett Park in Kingston yesterday.
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Hundreds of persons, from as early as 5 o'clock, lined up outside the St George's College Emmett Park Pavilion yesterday morning, eager to enter the grounds of the complex to benefit from the Food For The Poor (FFP) annual Christmas treat.

Vera Williams and Barbara Phillips were among the more than 3,000 persons who were fed, entertained, and given food packages and hygiene kits.

Williams, who is 74 years old, told The Gleaner that this was her second time benefiting from the initiative, having first attended last year.

"Coming here, well, it's good. It's good helping the poor and helping the elderly. And it help we a lot because some of we don't have anything at home, and we come here, we get, and we glad for it. We give God thanks for it. They are doing a very good job," Williams said.

This view was shared by 67-year-old Phillips.

"It mean a lot 'cause they treat us very good. We get a little goodies, and some of us don't have, so when we go home, it help us very much. It's good for them, helping the elders. We need it, and it is helpful and enjoyable," Phillips said.

FFP Executive Director David Mair said that his organisation has been carrying out this initiative in collaboration with The Salvation Army for more than 10 years, with a primary focus on the elderly.

Along with volunteers from FFP and The Salvation Army, there were also volunteers from St George's College, Kingston College, and Hillel Academy.

One such volunteer was sixth-form student at St George's, Fernanda Hannam, who said that volunteerism is encouraged by her school.

"As a Georgette, we are taught that self-sacrifice is the way to move forward in society. I believe giving myself to this initiative is a way to display selflessness. That's why I volunteered," Hannam said.

The treat was sponsored by Jamaica Broiler Groups, Wisynco Group, and Pure National Ice.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com