Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Madhouse Nat'l Feeding Day a big success

Published:Thursday | October 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Volunteers at the Trelawny Infirmary preparing meals for residents of the institution.
A Kingstonian volunteer offering a meal to a homeless man.
A member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) volunteering her time to feed a disabled man at the Trelawny Infirmary.
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Western Bureau:

As they have been doing for the past three years, the charity group Jamaican Madhouse last week fed some 2,033 homeless and underprivileged persons across all 14 parishes as part of its ambitious mandate to draw attention to the plight of the less fortunate members of the society.

With some 120 volunteers joining in the effort, which has been dubbed 'National Feeding Day', the organisation targeted the homeless, mentally ill, elderly and shut-ins in several communities and towns in the various parishes.

"We anticipated feeding 1,600 people, but ended up feeding 2,033," said Shena Carty, president of Jamaican Madhouse.

"This is monumental... two years ago, we fed just 47 and then last year, we fed 943 persons.

"This year's project turned out to be quite a social intervention. We went out and fed the persons on the streets, at the various infirmaries and homes of elderly people who cannot get out. These people have different needs and in some cases we will be trying to access help for them," added Carty.

While noting that the number of beneficiaries continues to rise each year, Carty also said the number of volunteers also continues to grow, showing that more and more persons are realising how important it is to reach out to the less fortunate.

"Our goal is not only to feed our people, but to identify infirmaries that need help with structural and basic needs and try to facilitate them as best we can," stated Carty.

"Also, we hope to build a house to get some of our homeless off the streets. We have a substantial pledge, and we are in the process of raising funds as we speak."

Said Carty: "Maybe someone will be generous and donate property in an appropriate location for this project. We welcome anyone that would like to help us make this bigger and better."

The charity group is now looking forward to its next big project, the second annual Islandwide March against Violence on International Women's Day on March 8 of next year.