Food For The Poor to Buy Rice from Haitian Farmers

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2011) — In a move to help Haitian farmers as well as to supply food even more efficiently to the hungry in that country, the international relief and development agency Food For The Poor will start buying rice from 2,000 farmers in the area most affected by the 2010 earthquake. The partnership will begin today and will provide a third of the rice that the charity needs for its feeding programs in Haiti.

A worker cooks rice to serve at the FFP feeding center in Port-au-Prince. In September, FFP will begin buying part of its rice supply from 2,000 Haitian farmers.

“This initiative is going to help the rice growers increase their production and grow a better strain of rice through help we are providing,” said Robin Mahfood , President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “We are happy we’re able to work with the farmers in this way, and we believe it will help us better meet the needs of the poor we serve.”

The program will begin with Food For The Poor buying about 200 tons of rice each month, but Mahfood said he hopes that will continue to grow as the farmers have more success with their crops. “We will buy everything they produce,” he said.

Food For The Poor can feed a child for $36 a year, but its ability to provide food efficiently to the most needy has been threatened by double-digit percentage increases in food prices over the past year, as well as the forecast from suppliers that rice supplies will continue to be tight. An increase in shipping costs has further complicated relief actions.  

A 6-year-old boy enjoys a nutritious meal at his school in the town of Lilavois.

This innovative plan is only one of the charity’s programs that provide long-term solutions and self-sufficiency methods to fight destitution in developing countries. Food For The Poor has installed 48 tilapia ponds in Haiti that provide a significant source of protein, one of the most urgently needed and scarce nutrients in the country. A community can harvest about 5,000 pounds of fish every six months, ensuring a food supply as well as providing a means of commerce through selling and bartering. Five pangasius (Basa) ponds were just constructed and filled with fingerlings, and the first harvest is expected in six months.

Agricultural programs are supported through shipments of seeds, fertilizer, tools and water pumps. They help small sustenance farmers as well as helping villages set up community farms where residents can enjoy harvests of peppers, corn and other healthy vegetables. By the end of 2010, Food For The Poor had distributed more than 350,000 fruit trees. Animal husbandry projects provide individual families with their own animals to breed and consume – predominantly goats, chickens and cows.

Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.

For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Contact:
Kathy Skipper
Food For The Poor
Director of Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6614
kathys@foodforthepoor.com