We Are One: Food For The Poor Virtual Event Helps Countries in Crisis Due to Pandemic

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 24, 2020) Food For The Poor's National Celebration — We Are One is a virtual event bringing the charity's supporters together to help hungry families devastated by the coronavirus pandemic in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The event will be livestreamed online from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13, from Boca Raton Community Church, in Boca Raton, Fla.

Nine-time Grammy nominee Matt Maher will record two songs for the event. Earlier this month, Maher's current single "Alive & Breathing" was climbing Rolling Stone's Trending 25 list and was the third fastest rising song within all music genres.

A silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, and continue through the event on Thursday, Aug. 13. In addition to entertainment by Maher, the program will include testimonials from donors, videos from the countries and details on the charity's pandemic response.

Conditions for the most vulnerable have gotten dramatically worse because of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. The outbreak has surged in many developing countries as governments have loosened lockdowns, worried that citizens might die of hunger if they can't return to work, according to news reports.

"This is an emergency. It's a crisis," said Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine. "Our partners are on the frontlines. They see the hunger, the pain and all of the people who literally line up outside their doors for help."

Since mid-March, Food For The Poor has shipped 510 tractor-trailer loads of aid to the countries it serves.

That total includes 197 containers specifically for COVID-19 relief, including food, personal hygiene items, medical supplies, medicine, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, plus 80 containers of rice from the Republic of China (Taiwan).

In Colombia, red cloths hang in the windows of families who don't have anything to eat.

"There are children here and we have no food to give them, we have no water, no resources, nor anywhere to stay," said Jesus Bolivar, a Venezuelan doctor who has been in Colombia for over a year. "We are living on the street."

Since the start of lockdown in Colombia in mid-March, Luiz Plazas said his family has only had one meal a day. "If an adult only eats once a day, he can handle it," Plazas said. "But how do you tell a child that there's nothing. It's really hard."

In Honduras, the virus has diverted resources from efforts to fight other serious diseases, straining weak public health systems and draining supplies.

"We are going through difficult and scary times. Our hospital is packed," said Ramses Vega, triage doctor at Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. "We received food for our families and food for hospital staff, nurses and doctors."

In El Salvador, families who were already suffering hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic are now dealing with the aftermath of a tropical storm. More than 10,000 people had to be evacuated, many of whom lost their homes and all their belongings.

"We have distributed more than 3,000 bags of rice and beans, many personal hygiene items and basic necessities in communities in El Salvador,'' said David Cartagena, CEO of New Horizons for the Poor, a Food For The Poor partner.

In Nicaragua, aid from Food For The Poor's donors has helped feed and provide hygiene and cleaning supplies to more than 6,500 families through a network of 70 distribution partners in 80 poor areas of the country.

"Each family that receives a package is taught how to properly wash their hands to avoid contamination of the coronavirus prior to receiving the package," said Nicolas Arguello, Executive Director of the American Nicaraguan Foundation. "Nothing comes close to what Food For The Poor has provided to give to these families. It's been a blessing to be able to help others during this time."

Raine said the shared concern and compassion for the poor and the vulnerable is what unites the charity and its supporters for the National Celebration — We Are One.

"There is so much to be done," Raine said. "We never get to the point of being able to do enough, but we do what we can and we will continue, blessed with the extraordinary generosity of our donors."

To register for the event, and receive notifications and a link to participate when the auction opens, go to www.FoodForThePoor.org/one.

Event sponsors include Salem Media Group, Florida Aquastore and Boca Raton Community Church.

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, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054