Food For The Poor celebrates 25 years in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 16, 2011) – When Food For The Poor first began its work in Haiti, the organization was responding to a cry for help for those living in subhuman conditions in the country’s largest and most dangerous slum, Cite Soleil located in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Five containers of rice were delivered in 1982 to prevent families from starving. By 1986, when Food For The Poor was licensed to work in Haiti, the charity delivered $4.1 million in aid.

Since then, the relief and development work has not ceased. The long tenure of Food For The Poor in Haiti made it possible to respond quickly and efficiently last year when the country was faced with the double challenge of a devastating earthquake and an outbreak of cholera.

In 2010, Food For The Poor shipped 205 containers of goods worth $188 million to Haiti.

“We believe that every human being deserves the simple dignity of having sufficient food, clean water, adequate shelter, an education, medical attention, and the opportunity to become self-sufficient. Nowhere is that more true than for the people of Haiti, who have a special place in our hearts,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “I take this opportunity to thank all of our donors who have supported so many projects throughout Haiti over these 25 years.”

To date, Food For The Poor has built more than 15,000 homes in Haiti, and is focused on self-sufficiency projects:

  • Fishing villages and aquaculture projects are providing residents with new food sources, and entire communities with a gainful source of income.

  • There are 33 fishing villages in full operation in a variety of coastal locations, and 10 villages are being planned for development in 2011.

  • 40 tilapia ponds have been completed throughout the country. Another eight tilapia ponds and five pangasius (Basa) hatching ponds are under construction, with various future sites being considered for aquaculture projects.

  • More than 20 Food For The Poor projects in Haiti are geared toward production of other food products – chickens, goats, cows, fruit trees, and vegetable farms.

  • By the end of 2010, Food For The Poor had distributed more than 350,000 fruit trees. In addition to helping small sustenance farmers, these projects help villages set up community farms where residents can enjoy harvests of peppers, corn, and other healthy vegetables.

  • Animal husbandry projects provide individual families with their own animals to breed and consume – predominantly goats, chickens and cows. In addition, farms are being established to raise strong, healthy animals to perpetuate the distribution process.

Food For The Poor’s vision for 2011 includes plans to continue rebuilding Haiti. Its goal is to provide 5,000 more housing units, install at least 120 water wells with pumps, and supply 30 additional solar-powered water filtration and chlorination systems to help in the fight against cholera and other water-borne diseases.

“Nowhere is our optimism for Haiti more evident than in our building of schools. Education will be key to a better future,” Mahfood said. “We have raised enough funds to start rebuilding four large schools this year that were destroyed in the earthquake.”

Those schools are Marie Clarac, George Marc, Jean Marie Guilloux, and St. Francois D’ Assise all of which are in Port-au-Prince. They will accommodate 3,400 students.

Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.


Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054
E-mail: jennifero@foodforthepoor.org