Food For The Poor Thanks Departing Official Director General Mou Leaving Miami to Return to Taiwan

Ray Mou, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami, left, and President/CEO of Food For The Poor Robin Mahfood.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 4, 2013) — Food For The Poor said “thank you” this week to Ray Mou, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami, who is heading back to Taiwan on Sunday. Mou had been assigned for two years to the South Florida office, where he oversaw many joint initiatives to help the poor.

“We cannot thank Ray Mou enough for what he has done for us, and for so many,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “Time after time, he and his colleagues have responded with rice after emergencies, and their contributions to pioneering sustainable food sources have allowed us to provide fish and fresh vegetables and fruit to hundreds of thousands.”

The most recent donation was 110 containers of rice, the equivalent of 2,200 tons, in October 2012 given to the poor by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over the years, Taiwan consistently has helped Food For The Poor with thousands of tons of rice. This gift was especially important as it came at a time when Haiti had been hit by storms Isaac and Sandy, and the country was facing severe food shortages. Surveys after the storm showed that 70 percent of households were experiencing moderate or severe hunger, and two-thirds of farmers had lost their crops.

In addition to working with Food For The Poor on emergency relief projects, Mou and other Taiwan partners have assisted with in-country production of food through agriculture, farm-raised fish and livestock breeding – self-sustaining initiatives that teach people how to earn a living.

Mou, a respected diplomat and a poet, visited the charity when he first arrived in Miami and professed a desire to make a difference through his role.

“Half a century ago, Taiwan received a nearly $1.5 billion loan and grant from the United States to reconstruct its economy after World War II,” said Mou, shortly after he arrived. “Now, as the 24th largest economy in the world, we are no longer a recipient state. We actively lend a hand to people in need. We wish we could do more to help the global village.”

At a goodbye luncheon on Tuesday, Mou and Mahfood exchanged gifts and solidified their commitment to continue to work together to find better solutions for those who live in poverty. Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, wrote an original poem for Mou and read it for him at the luncheon.

“Ray Mou is not only a fellow poet, he shares our passion for serving the poor in the Caribbean and elsewhere,” Aloma said. “We will miss his presence in South Florida, but know he will go on to do even greater things. He is leaving things in good order for his successor.”

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry 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 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.              

Kathy Skipper
Director of Public Relations
954-427-2222, ext. 6614