Atlanta residents empower Haitians through Food For The Poor

ATLANTA (June 19, 2009) – For six years, Atlanta resident Edward Buckley has raised money to drill and install lifesaving water wells in remote areas of Jamaica and Haiti. He currently is on a mission to raise funds to build 100 artesian wells with the assistance of Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States.

“In our view, the right to clean drinking water is the most fundamental human right we have,” Buckley said. “The water wells that have already been installed in Haiti have made an extraordinary difference to the people in the communities they serve.”

Buckley has traveled four times to Haiti with Food For The Poor and plans to return in the fall. During his travels to Haiti, he learned thousands of children die every day because they lack access to clean, safe drinking water.

“Many [Haitians] are starving or afflicted with parasites or disease,” Buckley said. “On Haiti’s shoreline and riversides, garbage is so pervasive that it sometimes literally tumbles down the banks, creating a permanent layer of filth and potential disease.”

Memorial Day weekend, Buckley organized an event at Crossfit Decatur gym. Eric Willis, the gym’s owner, challenged members and the community to participate in a high intensity workout to raise money to build water wells in Port-de-Paix, Haiti. Donors and sponsors supported teams based on the number of units of exercise performed within a compressed timeframe. The rigorous course included running, lifting weights, skipping rope, rowing and the slamming of sand bags and sledgehammers. Money was raised to build two artesian wells – enough to provide clean drinking water for approximately 10,000 people.

Last year, Buckley attended Food For The Poor’s inaugural Atlanta event. Proceeds were used to build a self-sustaining fishing village in Lully, Haiti. Destitute fishermen who once struggled to feed their children can now catch combined totals of 300 to 400 pounds of fish per day. The 24 fishing villages throughout Haiti provide long-term sustainable solutions to the increasing food prices.

The second annual fundraising event will be Sept. 18 at The W Atlanta Buckhead. Guests will enjoy an elegant dining experience prepared by the Spice Market’s Executive Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. For additional event and ticket information, please call 888-404-4248.

To learn more about Buckley’s challenge visit, www.foodforthepoor.org/portdepaix.

Food For The Poor provides nourishing food, safe shelter, necessary medical care, educational materials, support for orphans and the aged and much more to the poorest of the poor in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. More than 97 percent of all donations received in 2008 went directly to programs that help those in need. For more information, visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

People squeeze together as they stand in line for Food For The Poor’s feeding program in Cité Soleil. Some fear that the food will run out and they will be turned away.

Contaminated water causes disease and can lead to death. The installation of water wells helps answer the prayers of hundreds of thirsty villagers.

Contact:
Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
(954) 427-2222 x 6065
jennifero@foodforthepoor.com