From the beach to the streets - Prendy's proprietor caters to less fortunate

Published: Wednesday | September 2, 2009

Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer

Donnette Prendergast feeds one of scores of street people in downtown Kingston on Tuesday, August 18. - Photo by Rasbert Turner

While much of downtown Kingston was drunk with jubilation from Shericka Williams notching one of Jamaica's eventual 13 medals at the Berlin World Championships in Athletics, some commuters were too busy getting their daily bread to spend the moment celebrating.

The sidewalks of King and Barry streets were on August 18 transformed into a soup kitchen, as scores of street people were treated by Donnette Prendergast, operator of seafood eatery, Prendy's on the Beach.

More than 60 persons, aged 19 to 70, were given dinner and drinks. It was a journey born, some three months ago, out of a passion to serve the less fortunate.

"Lawd, dem come again an' the soup smell good. For the last three months, I feel like a find a new family an' what I love about dem is that they eat the food that they take for us, so it show that it is clean," remarked Bocklin Martin, who told The Gleaner she had been forced on to the streets because of various ailments.

Not forgotten

Meanwhile, others avoided the media, preferring to queue up for the meal. Many of them said they now looked forward for the team to turn up to each Tuesday.

"I really like the feeling of this. When all seem to forget us, these kind people try to make us feel good with a hot meal. Is God send them," remarked Mark Brown.

Prendergast told The Gleaner the altruistic programme was inspired by a desire to love society's unloved.

"Love is all we add to the food and, as you can see, we are not treated any differently, as we too partake of the food and that's how these persons feel special as they are not left to wonder if the food is (well cooked)," she said.

The organisers said the street people ministry was a holistic programme, as beneficiaries were also taken to church on Sundays.