Food For The Poor help­ing to fight hunger in Ja­maica

Jamaica Gleaner - - WORLD FOOD DAY -

FOOD IS a ba­sic hu­man right. Yet many chil­dren in Ja­maica go to school hun­gry. Teach­ers and principals see this painful chal­lenge ev­ery day as their stu­dents be­come inat­ten­tive or list­less, with their heads on the desk. Some be­come sad or ex­hibit be­havioural prob­lems.

In hon­our of World Food Day, to­day, gen­er­ous donors can help Food For The Poor pro­vide nu­tri­tious meals to these chil­dren and give them hope for the fu­ture.

Food For The Poor is rais­ing funds to build self-sus­tain­ing agri­cul­ture projects at four schools that can pro­vide veg­eta­bles and pro­tein for daily meals, en­able the schools to sell what they grow and teach the stu­dents the im­por­tance of rais­ing crops and an­i­mals for their own sus­tain­abil­ity.

Each school will re­ceive a green­house to grow veg­eta­bles, chicken coops, chick­ens for meat and eggs, rice, beans and other food staples to sup­ple­ment their feed­ing pro­gramme. In ad­di­tion, 15 fruit trees will be planted on the school grounds to pro­vide nu­tri­tious fruits.

The ap­proach is al­ready work­ing with won­der­ful re­sults at other schools in Ja­maica. The schools are low­er­ing their food ex­penses and gen­er­at­ing in­come. At-risk stu­dents are gain­ing hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in learn­ing about agri­cul­ture, which is preva­lent in most Ja­maican com­mu­ni­ties, and con­tribut­ing to the pass­ing on of tra­di­tions.

IM­PROVED STU­DENT AT­TEN­DANCE

“We have seen im­prove­ment in stu­dents’ at­ten­dance as a re­sult of us be­ing able to im­prove our wel­fare pro­gramme with pro­duce from the farm,” said Leighton Christie, prin­ci­pal of Pap­ine High School in Ja­maica.

“Stu­dents are very fas­ci­nated with the green­house be­cause of the tech­nol­ogy that goes with it,” Christie added. “For the first time in many years we have seen a sur­plus in the ac­count of the can­teen mainly due to the sav­ings we are able to make.”

First es­tab­lished in 1979, World Food Day has been ob­served in al­most ev­ery coun­try by mil­lions of peo­ple. The day was cre­ated to pro­mote world­wide aware­ness and ac­tion for those who suf­fer from hunger and for the need to en­sure food se­cu­rity and nu­tri­tious di­ets for all.

“We de­pend on the sup­port of the pri­vate sec­tor and our lov­ing donors to help the truly des­ti­tute. By the grace of God, this or­gan­i­sa­tion has helped thou­sands of Ja­maican fam­i­lies in one way or an­other over the past 34 years, and this con­tin­ued sup­port is needed in order to help Ja­maica’s chil­dren have a chance at suc­cess in life,” said Robin Mah­food, Food For The Poor’s pres­i­dent. Joan Duncan Foun­da­tion, in part­ner­ship with Food For The Poor Ja­maica, handed over a green­house to Pap­ine High School in May, which val­ued ap­prox­i­mately $1 mil­lion. Here, Kim Mair (left), chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Joan Duncan Foun­da­tion, holds one of the sweet pep­pers reaped from the green­house. Shar­ing in the mo­ment are Mark Jones (cen­tre), agri­cul­tural sci­ence teacher, and Au­drey Deer-Wil­liams, di­rec­tor, Joan Duncan Foun­da­tion. The green­house was con­structed in July 2015 and is be­ing used to ed­u­cate the stu­dents in the sub­ject of agri­cul­tural sci­ence.

CON­TRIB­UTED

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