Food For The Poor builds second Haitian fishing village thanks to donor participation in Global Fast

Coconut Creek, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2009) –For the past two years, Food For The Poor has raised funds to build fishing villages in conjunction with the Global Fast program. The fishing villages allow destitute fishermen in Haiti who once struggled to feed their children to catch collectively, on average, 300 to 400 pounds of fish per day.

Global Fast is a movement to create real change through fasting, prayer and charity on Ash Wednesday. By fasting for one day and donating the money saved from the cost of buying food, participants can work together to change lives. The Ash Wednesday fast program this year is called Global Fast ’09.

“Through the generosity of donors, two villages in Haiti have been given the ability to sustain themselves economically and to break free from the cycle of poverty,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “It is important to remember that when we work together in collective Christian charity, amazing things can and do happen. We can make a difference in the lives of our poorest brothers and sisters — because every little bit we do adds up to something much larger.”

Food For The Poor, a South Florida-based charity, establishes sustainable fishing projects in impoverished communities along the coasts of Haiti and Jamaica. 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 24-foot fiberglass boats with outboard engines, 100-quart coolers, safety equipment, a locked shed for equipment storage, global positioning system (GPS) fish finders, a solar light and kerosene freezers to store catches that can be sold at local markets.

Donations made to Food For The Poor’s Global Fast ’08 were used to fund a fishing village and three artesian wells in Mole St. Nicholas, in northwest Haiti. The fishing village will be dedicated in April 2009.

In December 2007, Global Fast founder Rich Halvorson, a 26-year-old from Boise, Idaho, traveled to Haiti with Food For The Poor representatives to witness firsthand the dramatic change a sustainable project of this magnitude can have on entire communities. While visiting the fishing village in Anse d’ Hainault, built with donations from Global Fast ’07, Halvorson saw a donated Food For The Poor boat unload five enormous marlins to help nourish the families and children of the village.

Fishermen in Food For The Poor fishing villages are required to contribute a minimum of 10 percent of their catches to feed the community’s needy orphans and widows and to maintain the donated equipment. The fishermen also give back by training the village’s younger men and women, passing along their fishing skills to the next generation. Food For The Poor’s staff in Haiti monitors all the fishing villages on an ongoing basis.

Food For The Poor began its humanitarian aid to Haiti in 1985. The largest international relief and development organization in the nation, Food For The Poor works in 17 countries across the Caribbean and Latin America. Since 1982, the charity has provided clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and emergency relief to the poorest of the poor across these regions. More than 96 percent of all donations to the organization go directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit the charity’s Web site at

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
954-427-2222 x 6054