New Executive Director to Lead Food For The Poor's Jamaica Office
David Mair, Food For The Poor-Jamaica’s new Executive Director, poses for a portrait during his visit to the headquarters of Food For The Poor in Coconut Creek, Fla., on July 31, 2014.
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2014) – Food For The Poor-Jamaica’s new Executive Director, David Mair, visited the headquarters of Food For The Poor in Coconut Creek, Fla., on Thursday, where he was introduced to the organization’s directors and their staff.
“This is a great opportunity for me to give back,” Mair said. “I feel it’s important to educate the public, and the nation of Jamaica as a whole about the many projects Food For The Poor is providing to improve the quality of life for families in need.”
Mair is a well-known businessman who spent nearly 20 years with the Jamaica Broilers Group. His most recent position was Managing Director of Tropical Battery, the oldest distributor of automotive consumer products and batteries on the island, before joining Food For The Poor in July.
“We are looking forward to working with Mr. Mair and are counting on his executive international experience and his track record of increasing productivity, while reducing cost. His skills are an asset for a nonprofit organization such as Food For The Poor,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “We depend on the support of the private sector and our loving donors to help the truly destitute. By the grace of God, this organization has helped thousands of Jamaican families in one way or another over the past 30 years, and this continued support is needed in order to help Jamaica’s poor out of poverty.”
Mair will oversee a staff of 115 dedicated employees at the Food For The Poor-Jamaica office and warehouse complex, located in Spanish Town. Food For The Poor has completed more than 250 projects in Jamaica over the past five years. One such project was the Jamaica 50/50 campaign, in which the organization committed to building or replacing 50 schools within 50 months in honor of the island’s 50 years of independence in August 2012. Food For The Poor will complete this project in December 2014, two-and-a- half years ahead of schedule. The next goal will be to build 25 additional schools.
According to published reports, some 1.1 million Jamaicans are living below the poverty line, fueling an intergenerational crisis. Many believe that education holds the key to breaking this cycle of poverty on the island, but that takes time.
One immediate step is providing families with a safe and secure home. In 2013, Food For The Poor, through the generosity of donors, constructed 2,456 housing units throughout the country. Since inception, the charity has built 37,538 housing units island-wide, and has committed to building 1,200 two-room permanent homes each year in Jamaica.
One key project the new executive director would like to see implemented as quickly as possible is the expansion of the Rural Economic Agricultural Program (REAP). Jamaica’s rich soil already provides the foundation for growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These crops not only will provide food, but also a profit for farmers, cultivating sustainability and strengthening the family unit.
“Coming from an agricultural business background, I feel it’s very important for Jamaicans to be aware of all the self-sustaining programs that have not been tapped into. There’s room for experience and growth in that area. Many don’t know how important agriculture is in Jamaica, we have the natural resources and we want to teach people how to work and grow the land,” Mair said. “There’s tremendous opportunity for corporations in Jamaica to work with Food For The Poor to expand these agricultural projects.”
The 16 Food For The Poor fishing villages in Jamaica, another ongoing project that has proven successful, are located throughout coastal communities on the island. The charity will continue to monitor and train the fishermen to become even more productive with environmentally sound fishing techniques.
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. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
Food For The Poor
Public Relations Associate
954-427-2222 x 6079