Food For The Poor’s Gift Catalog Inspires Grandparents to Give Gifts in Grandchildren’s Names

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 26, 2018)  Blessed with 15 grandchildren, Howard and Betty Barber were faced with the dilemma of how to choose unique gifts for 15 different personalities at different ages.

The Barbers became inspired to do something more meaningful after a member of Food For The Poor's Speakers Bureau visited their church in Merced, Calif., more than 20 years ago. The speaker talked about the charity's work in the Caribbean and Latin America to bring relief to those suffering from poverty, disease and natural disasters.

Instead of shopping for toys, electronics or clothes, the Barbers started buying gifts from the charity's gift catalog in each of their grandchildren's names.

The first gifts were baby chicks, a nod to the Barbers' family farm.

"Our children grew up on a small working farm, so they understand the value of raising animals and fruits and vegetables," said Betty Barber. "Their children are appreciative of these gifts given in their honor."

Whether it's for a birthday, Christmas or another special occasion, Food The Poor's annual gift catalogs – one at Christmas and another in the spring – are filled with gifts that epitomize the spirit of giving and can positively change the lives of those who have nothing.

As little as $25 buys 20 baby chicks that can provide a poor family not only with a sustainable source of protein, but also with supplemental income from selling extra eggs.

For $90, one can give a goat that provides families with the promise of a brighter future.

On each birthday, the Barbers' grandchildren receive a card and a picture of the donated gift. Over the years, the Barbers have purchased a cow, 20 baby chicks, a sewing machine and beehive, three baby pigs, a water pump and school supplies – all of which have provided lifesaving food or humanitarian aid to the poorest of the poor in the Caribbean and Latin America.

"We couldn't imagine a gift any better," said Betty Barber. "The kids loved it. They know they've done something wonderful for someone who is hungry and is deprived of the most basic things."

In September, the Barbers, who now live in Santa Cruz, Calif., heard that Fr. Tony Palazzolo, a member of the charity's Speakers Bureau, was scheduled to speak at St. Joseph's Church in nearby Capitola.

"I thought, here's our chance to tell him how much Food For The Poor has meant to our family," said Betty Barber.

As the grandchildren have grown up – the oldest is now 29, the youngest 12 – the Barbers continue to buy gifts for the poor in their grandchildren's names every year.

Their youngest grandchild, Callie, says it is a blessing to get such an "unusual gift" every year for her birthday.

"Most of my friends get material gifts from their grandparents on their birthdays, but I really think that this gift is much more important because it isn't something that I would use only for a week after I got it," Callie wrote in a thank you note to her grandparents. "Feeding the poor is much more meaningful than any other gift you could give."

Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma praised the Barbers for setting a beautiful example to their grandchildren about the true spirit of giving.

"The Barbers have a genuine heart for the poor," Aloma said. "A gift for the poor such as goats, donkeys, cows, chickens or pigs will impact lives long after the holidays have passed. These heartfelt gifts restore a destitute family's ability to dream."

The 2018 Christmas Gift Catalog can be accessed through the charity's secure website at

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. For more information, please visit

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054