Atlanta Residents Empower Haitians through Food For The Poor

ATLANTA (Aug. 14, 2008) - Destitute fishermen in Lully, Haiti who once struggled to feed their children can now catch combined totals of 300 to 400 pounds of fish per day thanks to Food For The Poor.

“Just last week, one of the boat captains from Lully fishing village returned to shore with approximately 150 pounds of red snapper,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor.

The fishing village provides Haitians with a long-term sustainable solution to the recent food crisis. The fishing village was built with proceeds from Food For The Poor’s inaugural Atlanta event Catch a Tropical Breeze. The event honored Atlanta’s 104.7 FM The FISH listeners and morning team hosts, Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott.

Kevin and Taylor traveled to Haiti to participate in Lully’s fishing village dedication on July 26. Also in attendance at the dedication were Catch a Tropical Breeze gala chairman Paul Williams and Food For The Poor’s president.
 
“The entire fishing village community has truly been blessed by Atlanta’s residents and our friends at 104.7 FM The FISH. The fishermen used to row leaky boats a few hundred feet from shore and catch fish you could fit into a small aquarium. Now they’re hauling in hundreds of pounds of red snapper that can feed and help sustain a small village,” said Mahfood.

Since the food crisis in Haiti first hit the headlines, Food For The Poor has redoubled its efforts to send help. Through the generosity of the American people and with ongoing support from the Taiwanese government, we have been able to more than triple our food shipments to Haiti.

In Haiti, an estimated 80 percent of the people live in abject poverty and most survive on less than two U.S. dollars a day. The skyrocketing cost of food means more Haitians are forced to go hungry. Low-income, food-deficient countries, like Haiti, must find immediate and alternative ways to enhance their diminishing food supply. Food For The Poor’s fishing villages are self-help entrepreneurial initiatives, specifically designed to enhance food production in countries facing hunger and malnutrition challenges and encourage sustainability with a viable and marketable product. 

Food For The Poor has installed a total of 17 fishing villages in what were once impoverished communities on Haiti’s coast. Poor fishermen are outfitted with everything needed to catch deep-sea fish such as queen snapper, kingfish and yellow-eye snapper. Each fishing village receives four 22-foot fiberglass boats with outboard engines, 100-quart coolers, safety equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, a gear shed for equipment storage, global positioning system (GPS), solar-powered street lights and freezers to store catches and sell them to local markets.

Food For The Poor’s fishing villages benefit not only the fishermen, but also their families and communities. Recipients of the fishing boats are taught deep-sea fishing and business practices that are both ecologically friendly and economically sound.

Food For The Poor’s friendship with Kevin and Taylor, their listeners and the entire team at 104.7 FM The FISH, initially started in Jamaica, as did Food For The Poor’s sustainable fishing village program. From 2000 to 2007, Fish Atlanta and their loyal listeners have put faith into action and transformed eight Jamaican fishing villages into self-sustaining communities that are breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Basic housing has been another major component of our campaigns. Our friends at 104.7 The FISH along with their listeners, have raised funds for more than 640 housing units across the island of Jamaica.

Food For The Poor, the second-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than simply feed the millions of hungry poor in 16 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Since 1982, we have provided clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and emergency relief, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For additional information please visit our Web site at www.foodforthepoor.org/atlanta.  

Contact:
Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
(954) 427-2222 x 6054
jennifero@foodforthepoor.com