Palm Beach Donors Raise Funds to Restore Fishing Villages in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2018) South Florida families can combine their passion for the poor with their love for the sea to help fishermen in Haiti through Food For The Poor.

This fall, the charity will sponsor a family-friendly day of fun on the water to raise funds for fishing villages in Haiti that were damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

The 3rd Annual Hope Floats Kids' Dock Fishing Tournament & Family Night will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Sailfish Club of Florida, 1338 N. Lake Way, Palm Beach, Fla.

Guests will enjoy a fishing tournament for kids on the docks, a docktail party for adults followed by a family barbecue dinner and a dive-in movie for children.

Hurricane Matthew barreled across the country's southern peninsula on Oct. 4, 2016, with Category 4-strength winds of 145 mph. The storm flattened homes and crops, damaged fishing villages and schools, swept away livestock and cut off transportation.

The most severe damage was in the south and the rehabilitation of the fishing villages there has been completed. Now, attention is turning to repairing fishing villages in the north.

Funds from generous donors who support Hope Floats will go toward restoring four fishing villages, including Baie-de-Henne, Mole-Saint-Nicolas, Anse-a-Foleur and Jean Rabel, and replace items like boats, engines and fishing equipment that were lost or damaged in the storm.

"There is great hope in the sea," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "It is important that we help the people of Haiti get their lives back and start again."

About 2,400 residents of these communities rely on the income from the four fishing villages that were damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The storm wiped out residents' financial stability to care for their families.

The charity's Fishing Village program supplies destitute coastal villages with fiberglass boats with outboard engines, global positioning systems, fishing tackle, 100-quart coolers, safety equipment, a gear shed with a freezer, a generator, a powerful solar-powered light for the village common area, and training in deep-sea fishing.

Thanks to these resources, fishermen are then able to fish in deeper, more bountiful waters and catch larger, more profitable fish. The entire village benefits from this enterprise because many of the villagers buy fish wholesale in order to sell it retail, while others sell fish to local residents. Additionally, the fishermen are required to return a portion of their proceeds to those who are less fortunate.

There are 73 Food For The Poor fishing villages in operation: 42 in Haiti, 15 in Jamaica, 15 in Honduras, and one in the Eastern Caribbean in Castle Bruce, Dominica. Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma said the fishing villages are examples of hope and promise.

"I am reminded of what Jesus said to his disciples when he told them, you will go on to do greater things than I, because you believe in me," Aloma said. "Everyone knows the story of how Jesus fed the 5,000 and now, through these fishing villages, these people will be able to feed not only themselves but their communities. They will not be eating for just a day, but will have an ongoing supply of food and the dignity that comes with having a steady income."

Ryan and Amy Bridger are committee chairs for Hope Floats.

Tickets for Hope Floats are $150 per adult, $50 per child 12 and younger, $360 per family (includes two adults and two children 12 and younger). Attire is Palm Beach casual with no blue denim.

For more information, call Marni Wyman at 888-404-4248 or email at marniw@foodforthepoor.com.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054
michaelt@foodforthepoor.com