Facts About Our Work in Jamaica

Jamaica, the first country assisted by Food For The Poor, partners with more than 5,000 churches and institutions for the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items.

  • Food For The Poor has built, replaced or expanded more than 225 schools
  • In 2016, more than 2,100 housing units constructed
  • We works with 24 orphanages caring for 510 children

More About Our Work

Food For The Poor began helping the island nation in 1982. In 1983, Food For The Poor-Jamaica was established and is now the largest charity organization in Jamaica. The office and warehouse complex is located in Spanish Town, at the intersection of five highways, which leads to all parts of the island. Food For The Poor has completed more than 400 projects in Jamaica since 2010 alone, with a focus on medical, education, housing and agriculture. In 2016, the ministry shipped 783 tractor-trailer loads of essential supplies to Jamaica.

Education

  • More than 225 schools have been assisted by projects that have built, repaired or expanded schools island-wide, a Food For The Poor initiative to improve the educational system and provide access to a healthy learning environment for students. Projects include the construction of entire schools, infrastructure improvements, such as additional classroom blocks to ease overcrowding, kitchen facilities to provide nutritious meals, sanitation facilities, water projects, libraries, computer labs, counseling and homework centers.
  • The ministry continuously provides schools with furniture, supplies and sports equipment.
  • Schools are provided with food on a regular basis to support breakfast and lunch programs. As a result, schools report increased attendance, better performance and greater student attention spans. Additional nutritional support is provided through agriculture projects such as greenhouses and chicken coops.
  • Annually, approximately 400 students across the island receive assistance to attend school through a scholarship program, which provides funding for school fees and books. Without this support these children could not afford to attend school.
  • Through a partnership with the government’s Ministry of Education and local corporations, modern bathrooms have been built to replace pit latrines in schools island-wide.
  • Approximately 600 computer stations are donated to schools, homework centers and other underserved neighborhood institutions every year.
  • More than 20 marching band sets are distributed annually to schools and community programs aimed at reducing inner-city violence by engaging youth, giving them hope for their future. The outcome has been better school performance, attendance and improved discipline.

Housing

  • In 2016, through the generosity of the donors, Food For The Poor constructed 2,104 housing units. Since inception, the charity has built 42,125 housing units island-wide.
  • The houses are equipped with indoor sanitation facilities, solar-powered lighting and a gas stove. There’s also a loft space for greater sleeping capacity. Furnishings are provided when available.
  • Food For The Poor holds an annual 5K Walk/Run fundraising event in Kingston, Jamaica, to help provide homes for the destitute.

Agriculture and Fishing Villages

  • Food For The Poor’s agricultural development program has been essential in safeguarding food security and in helping small farmers, fishermen and institutions to become self-sufficient.
  • The ministry provides thousands of farmers with seeds, hand tools (pitch fork, shovels, etc.), gas-operated water pumps and tillers. Inner-city communities, schools, orphanages and other institutions also receive help with producing crops and livestock for food and profit.
  • In 2002, Food For The Poor established its first fishing village in Jamaica, providing boats and engines, fishing gear and storage facilities. The program now has 16 firmly established fishing villages around the island. The charity continues to monitor and train fishermen in techniques to improve their catch.
  • In 2016, Food For The Poor assisted 100 farmers and institutions across the country in establishing bee farming projects. The production of honey allows farmers to harvest a quality product to sell to local vendors and supermarkets.
  • Food For The Poor continues to delve into agriculture technology by providing greenhouses for crop production. The focus for 2017 will be directed at introducing this discipline into schools for teaching purposes, to supplement the school feeding programs with vegetables and to assist the schools in providing sustainable income.
  • Pig, chicken and goat rearing projects have been vital in providing income for individuals and institutions, which are helping the disadvantaged, and for churches ministering to those in needs.
  • Food For The Poor has successfully introduced aquaculture production into its portfolio of projects by introducing the Pangasius species (A.KA. Basa) as an alternative low-cost protein. The ministry has been instrumental in improving spawning techniques to provide fingerlings. Plans include supporting orphanages as a means of income generation for impoverished individuals and families.

Food Distribution

  • Nearly 350,000 Jamaicans are fed each month through 44 distribution centers island-wide catering to institutions such as schools, children's homes and churches.
  • Each year, Food For The Poor teams up with the Salvation Army to provide a Christmas celebration for the indigent and homeless in Kingston. In December 2016, more than 1,800 individuals received a hot meal, lively entertainment and a gift package of food and general items.

Orphanages and Children’s Homes

  • Food For The Poor's Angels Of Hope program works with 24 orphanages that care for 510 children.
  • Angels Of Hope Christmas Treat at Kings House catered to about 800 children and their caregivers from 25 children’s homes across the island that were treated to a day of fun, food and fellowship. Each child and caregiver received a gift package.

Medical

  • Medicines and other medical supplies are provided to clinics and hospitals across the island. Durable medical equipment supplies, including walkers and wheelchairs, are provided to needy recipients and lifesaving medical equipment to hospitals.
  • Food For The Poor's Our Lady of the Poor caters to 9,000 patients annually providing superior medical care to the indigent and destitute.
  • Two health fairs are held annually in Kingston and Westmoreland providing free healthcare access to more than 1,500 children and adults.
  • Food For The Poor provides financial assistance to aid in the care of more than 200 occupants in the country’s largest residential facility for the elderly and infirm. The home also is assisted with food, furnishings and a physiotherapy program, which enables residents to restore functionality and independence.

Prison Ministry

  • Food For The Poor’s Prison Ministry Program was established in 2003.
  • Through the program, the ministry assists in freeing and reintroducing non-violent prisoners back into the community. The program releases inmates who have committed minor offenses twice per year during Easter and Christmas seasons. Since the inception of the program, a total of 643 individuals received their freedom.
  • More than 6,500 ex-inmates have also benefited from the "Fresh Start Program" that provides assistance with profitable businesses, such as welding, carpentry and farming, supplying these new releases with a source of income and discouraging them from repeating their offences.
  • Food For The Poor also assists correctional institutions by providing monthly supplies of food, medical and general items such as mattresses.
  • The Prison Ministry division also branches out to assist youth clubs, children of inmates and holds an annual summer band and monthly band sessions for struggling youths.
  • Interventions for 2017 will include the construction of an educational center, aimed at improving the literacy of inmates prior to their release from prison.