Food For The Poor to Honor Grammy Award-Winning Reggae Star Shaggy and his wife Rebecca at Building Hope Gala

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2018)  Grammy Award-winning artist Shaggy and his wife, Rebecca Packer Burrell, will be honored with the Ambassador For The Poor Award at Food For The Poor’s 24th annual Building Hope Gala on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

The couple is being recognized for the work they have done for the poor of Jamaica through The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, which supports the Bustamante Hospital for Children. They are longtime supporters of the charity.

Since 2009, Shaggy and Friends has donated and repaired more than 450 pieces of equipment worth more than $1.6 million to the hospital.

"Shaggy and Rebecca are true friends of our charity," said Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood. "They have been an example to so many, showing that charity exists in their hearts. It is especially heartwarming that Shaggy and Rebecca have found a meaningful way to give back to Jamaica and improve the quality of life for families in need."

Shaggy's several gold and multiplatinum albums have won him a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Reggae Album, five Grammy nominations, and topped an impressive chart list that included the Top 40 Rhythmic charts, Hot 100 and Billboard 200 among others.

Attendees at the gala will be invited to create a legacy by pledging to build 50 critically needed homes in Ti Maché, Haiti, a rural community in Ganthier where 90 percent of its residents survive on less than $1 a day.

Many homes in Haiti’s poorest communities are made with scraps such as rusted metal and tarps, providing families little protection from the elements. Many families sleep on dirt floors, which turn to mud when rain pours through cracks in the roof and walls.

Homes funded by Food For The Poor donors are built on cement foundations with concrete block walls and galvanized sheet roofs so families can feel safe from storms. Each home has two bedrooms and a living area, sanitation and a water component. Each family also receives a solar-powered light kit and furnishings with their home.

"These homes will be a living example of how lives can be changed and hope can be restored," Mahfood said. "By providing simple, sturdy homes to the poorest of the poor, we can change the lives of entire families by giving them the security of a safe, dry place to live."

The committee includes Dr. Genie Graber-Maxwell and Charles Maxwell, chairs; Siobhan Carty, Katherine Cathcart, Patricia de Siqueira Castro, Elena Del Alamo, Karen Foreman, Karolina Kanner, Marlene Ross Khouri, Julie Mahfood, Ivana Montague, Rene Turner Mahfood, Dr. Marnee Schneider, Renee Stetler and Patricia Wallace.

For additional information regarding the Building Hope Gala, sponsorship opportunities, and tickets, available at $400 per person, please call Marni Wyman or Shanny Tozzi at 954-427-2222, ext. 6854, or email at Or go to

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