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FFP-Jamaica awarded PM's medal of appreciation

Published:Friday | May 4, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Food for the Poor (FPP) and Wortley Home representatives at the reopening/rededication of the Wortley Home for Girls on Wednesday, February 26, 2018. In addition to constructing the facility, FFP donated all the furniture required, including beds, to outfit all the dormitories. From left are Tanya Wildish, board member of Wortley Home for Girls; Reverend Dr Howard Gregory, bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands; Andrew Mahfood, chairman of FFP Jamaica; Delores Bailey, house mother; and David Mair, executive director of FFP Jamaica.

Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica has been awarded the Prime Minister's Jamaica 55 Commemorative Medal of Appreciation for contribution to nation building.

"Your service has undoubtedly made the country's economic, social and cultural fabric richer and stronger. We salute and recognise you," Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the awardees during a ceremony at Jamaica House.

"While we recognise and celebrate with you today, we know that we can never say thank you enough for the extraordinary commitment and dedication you have shown and the positive impact that you are making," he added.

Since 1982, FFP Jamaica's mission has expanded to include improving the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children it serves through emergency relief aid and extensive programmes in housing, education and social outreach, sustainable agriculture and fishing, prison ministry, healthcare and micro-enterprise development.

"This is a very proud moment for Food For The Poor Jamaica," said Andrew Mahfood, FFP Jamaica board chairman.




"As we continue our mandate to ensure we find and help the less fortunate in Jamaica, wherever they are, and to implement swiftly, projects to bring sustainability to those we serve, I feel confident that together we can continue making that difference to the less fortunate and make a greater impact on our wonderful country, Jamaica. I congratulate all team members and contractors on this recognition by our country and leaders," Mahfood said.

The charity has partnered over the years with churches, non-governmental and private organisations, children's homes and service organisations throughout the island that deal directly with the poor to fill their most urgent needs and to encourage self-sufficiency.

Through the Our Lady of the Poor Clinic at St Joseph's Hospital, for example, the charity has provided healthcare at a minimal cost to needy Jamaicans.


... Prisoner training, boost to agriculture curriculum

Since 2008, hundreds of prisoners have been reintroduced into the community as productive citizens after receiving training, with assistance from Food for the Poor-Jamaica, in automechanics, carpentry and welding, among other profitable business options.

The charity has also recognised the importance of agriculture to Jamaica's economy by helping small farmers with training and providing seeds, tools and other supplies.

In 2017, FFP Jamaica completed 29 agricultural projects in schools islandwide, including beekeeping, animal husbandry, pig, sheep and goat rearing, gardening and 20 school greenhouses.

They recently boosted the agricultural science curriculum at Glengoffe High School in St Catherine, thanks to the donation of a chicken coop, a slaughter house, 100 layer birds, 100 broiler birds, farm tools and equipment, and a freezer for storage.

Since 2013, the charity has built more than 4,000 houses for needy persons. This year will mark the fourth staging of FFP's annual 5K walk/run on May 12 at Emancipation Park.

Thanks to the generosity of businesses and individual donors in Jamaica and overseas, FFP-Jamaica has built more than 170 homes, impacting the lives of more than 500 people during the last three years of the 5K event.

In addition to building homes, the charity also builds and refurbishes basic schools across the island. It recently spearheaded the reconstruction of the Wortley Home for Girls in St Andrew, which was destroyed by fire in 2015.

"What started out as a little space in a warehouse has grown to become the largest charity organisation in Jamaica," FFP Jamaica Executive Director David Mair said.

"Our method of helping those in need is simply an act of asking clergy and missionaries, working directly with the poor, 'What do you need?' and then supplying the needed items," Mair said. "This method assures us that the goods are delivered directly and quickly to those who need them most."