1,000 Housing Units in 100 Days: Food For The Poor Accelerates Rebuilding in Haiti After Hurricane Matthew

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 19, 2016) As the threat of disease spreads and desperate families cling to hope with no place to call home, Food For The Poor is launching a campaign with the support of generous donors to build 1,000 new housing units in 100 days in Haiti as the country recovers from Hurricane Matthew.

The new homes are in addition to repairing 450 homes that sustained damage in Haiti's southern peninsula.

The campaign starts today.

"It is important that we move quickly so that people can get their lives back fast and start again. Through our donors here, the people of Haiti will know that they are not forgotten and that there is hope for the future," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "It's going to be magnificent, believe me."

Acknowledging it is an aggressive goal, the charity's leader points to the need to give people hope and move them quickly into sturdy, safe shelter. Most of the buildings still standing after Matthew ravaged the country were homes and schools built by the charity. When teams arrived to assess the damage, grateful residents shared how they had taken shelter in Food For The Poor buildings during the storm.

The charity sent funds this week for reconstruction to begin on the roofs of fishing villages and the 450 homes that need repair. Two months' worth of building supplies are in Haiti now and more are being shipped.

According to the latest assessments from teams on the ground, 13 of 29 fishing villages built by Food For The Poor in southwest Haiti were destroyed and must be rebuilt. Another 16 suffered significant damage such as loss of roofs, freezers and equipment and must be repaired. Funded and built through donations, the fishing villages provide deep-sea fishing opportunities for food and needed income to communities that previously struggled to get either one from the sea.

The goal is to have all the new housing units, repairs and fishing villages finished in 100 days.

Here is the latest on other relief efforts:

  • Food For the Poor anticipates sending 160 tractor-trailer loads of critically needed supplies. Items include food, water, generators, agricultural tools, kerosene stoves and hygiene kits with soap, toothpaste and other personal care items to help prevent the spread of disease. Seaboard Marine is donating shipping containers, continuing a long-time commitment to the charity.

  • The Usain Bolt Foundation is partnering with Food For The Poor-Jamaica to provide relief in Haiti. The foundation, created by Olympic sprinter and Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt, supported Jamaican businesses by buying nonperishable food and water and Food For the Poor is distributing the items in Haiti.

  • A boat captain in Haiti is helping Food For The Poor deliver aid to areas that are inaccessible because roads or bridges were washed out or areas where there have been uprisings from people who are desperate for basic necessities such as food and water. The captain's vessel is capable of hauling 50 tons of goods on two 40-foot containers every four days.

  • Health authorities say they have been struggling with a surge of patients with cholera, with 117 cases, including 17 deaths, in Sud, and 166 cases, including three deaths, in Grand'Anse. Cholera spreads as desperate people share close quarters with family and friends amid poor sanitary conditions that facilitate the transmission of disease. This underscores the importance of getting people back into safe housing and out of the elements where cholera is breeding.

Haiti's dire housing needs were compounded by Hurricane Matthew, which barreled across the country's southern peninsula on Oct. 4 with Category 4-strength winds of 145 mph. The storm flattened homes and crops along the southwest coast, damaged schools, swept away livestock and cut off transportation.

Here is a video of Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood talking about the rebuilding effort in Haiti: www.FoodForThePoor.org/haitihomes.

To help storm victims in Haiti, cash donations are best. To help right now, please call 1-800-427-9104 or visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/hurricane.

For those who would rather donate goods, Food For The Poor is accepting canned meats, canned fish and canned milk at its Coconut Creek warehouse at 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, Fla. 33073. At this time, the charity is not accepting clothing donations.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily 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.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054