GoodHeart | JWN to donate to schools’ breakfast programme
Over two thousand students from five schools in St Elizabeth will receive joy from a donation to their schools’ breakfast feeding programmes by Dr Joy Spence, master blender at J. Wray & Nephew (JWN). The donation is part of the company’s ’40 Years of Joy’ celebrations honouring Spence’s legacy as she marks 40 years at JWN. She is known for giving back and has made philanthropy a consistent part of her journey over the life of her career. So, JWN thought the best gift to her was a $20 million allocation to gift various charities.
On May 18, a total of $550,000 in food supplies was donated to assist in preparing healthy meals for the students at Braes River Primary, Glen Stuart Primary, Siloah Primary, Balaclava Primary and Maggotty High schools.
During her visits to the schools, Spence shared why she wanted to make the donation.
“I have always observed the faces and expressions of the children while travelling to and from Appleton Estate for work. With May being Child Month, I wanted to work with JWN, through ’40 Years of Joy’ , to contribute to the feeding programmes at the five schools that I pass on my journey to Appleton. After all, children who have access to breakfast are more likely to participate during class and in physical activities,” she said.
Launched in 2021, ‘40 Years of Joy’ celebrates the world-class master blender, who joined the JWN as chief chemist in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become master blender in 1997. She not only became the head of the quality and factory operations of J Wray & Nephew, but the spirits industry’s first female master blender. Today, she remains one of a handful of women in the world to hold this prestigious position and a global ambassador for brand Jamaica.
In expressing appreciation to the JWN and Spence for the contribution, principal of Siloah Primary School, Oneil Larmond, said: “Despite some of our students being on the PATH programme, most of the parents of the 528 students at my school find it challenging to provide food for their children. The financial difficulties were made worse by COVID and loss of jobs. So, we are very happy that the celebration of ’40 Years of Joy,’ in conjunction with J Wray & Nephew Limited, could contribute the well-needed funds to boost our breakfast feeding programme.”
Principal of Balaclava Primary School, Nichol Jackson, said she was elated that her school was named among those selected to receive the contribution from the ‘40 Years of Joy’ programme. “Children cannot learn if their basic needs are not met and with the pandemic taking its toll on family members who lost their jobs, we have tried to assist through our feeding programme, which not only provides breakfast, but lunch and dinner in some cases. So, we are grateful for this intervention.”
The first phase of the ’40 Years of Joy’ programme saw over $5 million being donated to the setting up of ‘Joy To The World Technology Centres’, as well as the presentation of several technology-based learning material to students to assist with online learning, homeschooling, research and educational online interactions.