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Mission: Food Possible reaches the needy

Published:Friday | October 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

Peter Ivey, an entrepreneur who overcame homelessness and hunger as a youngster, will be using his platform as founder of the New York-based Reggae Chefs company to launch a school feeding programme at the St John's Primary School in Spanish Town, St Catherine, with the aim of providing nutritious meals to children in need.

Though Ivey migrated to the United States as a teenager, the successful chef said that his mind never left Jamaica. He indicated that he was always thinking of ways to give back and provide exciting, yet healthy, food options for the less fortunate. He later established his own programme called Mission: Food Possible.

"I am a trained chef, and I remember being in culinary school and I couldn't get my mind off hungry people. I have first-hand experience of being hungry, being homeless, and not being able to make ends meet. It was on my mind for a few years as to how I would be able to make my impact and Mission: Food Possible came to me," he told The Gleaner.

As such, the Reggae Chefs founder said that he, along with his team, will be hosting a two-day workshop next Thursday and Friday at the St Catherine-based primary school, where eight canteen staff, along with four parents, will be engaged in learning new recipes and innovative ways to prepare meals in preparation for the launch of the feeding programme come January 2019.

"We will be using some of Jamaica's MVPs (most valuable products) to create a five-day school lunch programme for the needy children. So we are talking about using pumpkin and calaloo in some unique ways. We will be teaching them how to take some of those same products that they take from 'Maas Joe' or 'Farmer Tom' and make something good and nutritious," he said.

"If it is potato alone you can get, we will be teaching them that they don't have to boil it every day. For the programme, children can look forward to fun, exciting dishes using things that they are familiar with. We want to uplift the community by giving them more knowledge. Jamaica is where my heart is," he said.