Coronavirus: Food For The Poor National Event Raises Funds to Feed Families
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 23, 2020) More children are going to sleep hungry as the number of people living in extreme poverty in the Caribbean and Latin America rises due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Food For The Poor continues to respond to urgent requests for food. The charity will bring supporters together for a one-night National Celebration — We Are One, a virtual event that will raise funds to provide more food to families devastated by the pandemic.
The event will be livestreamed from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13, from Boca Raton Community Church, in Boca Raton, Fla.
Countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are not only facing increasing cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, but lasting economic damage and fears of a food crisis.
"We knew early on that the problems were going to be terrible in the countries we serve," said Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine. "If you add the challenges of unemployment and all the people desperately seeking food, the scale of the problem is enormous. This has only underscored our efforts to do even more, all made possible because of our generous donors."
Nine-time Grammy nominee Matt Maher will perform two songs for the event and share his heart for families in need. Earlier this summer, 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.
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.
With needs growing in the countries served by the charity, Pastor Bill Mitchell, of Boca Raton Community Church, said the virtual event is an opportunity to follow Jesus' teachings to feed the poor. The church offered its space and technical support to livestream the event.
"We are blessed to be able to give back in this way to families who are suffering," said Mitchell, who will give the opening prayer at the virtual event. "Food For The Poor turns the face of the American church to the Caribbean and Latin America. Our church resonates with that mission."
Since mid-March, Food For The Poor has shipped 709 tractor-trailer loads of aid to the countries it serves. That includes 200 containers specifically for COVID-19 relief, including food, personal hygiene items, medical supplies, medicine, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, and 120 containers of rice from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The charity also has purchased and shipped 80 containers of food and relief items, with another 19 containers waiting to be shipped, as well as purchased food directly from local businesses in the countries.
In Colombia, Venezuelan migrants who had fled their home country's economic collapse for promise of a better life are now struggling to return. Bridges on the border cities of Cucuta and Arauca have been closed, leaving migrants stranded on the streets.
"Because of the coronavirus there's no more work. I must go back to Venezuela because the food is already running out and I don't have enough money for rent," said Maria, a migrant who left Venezuela for Colombia to give her son a better future. "I decided to sell everything I had and go back home with my son."
Without an income, these vulnerable families cannot purchase basic food and health essentials.
Red cloths hang in the windows of families who don't have anything to eat.
"The pandemic has become very complex here in Colombia," said Constanza Ovalle Rozo, Director of Integral Development Centers at Minuto de Dios, one of the charity's partners in Colombia. "Food For The Poor's generosity and assistance to help the situation here in Colombia to the Venezuelan migrants has been wonderful."
In Haiti, Bishop Oge Beauvoir, Executive Director of Food For The Poor-Haiti, said he has never received so many requests for food in his five years with the charity.
"Everybody is coming to us for food," Beauvoir said. "The churches are on the frontline. Priests keep calling asking for more food. A priest from Bell Fountaine said, 'Bishop, my people are dying.' People have only one location to go, the churches. In the cities, if people are hungry they go to the churches."
Paulette Cadet, in Haiti, is grateful for food supplied by the charity's generous donors.
"I want to thank Food For The Poor because you sent us food to eat," she said "I couldn't feed the kids. I can't work because of the coronavirus, which has really affected our country. I pray to God that you can always continue this ministry to help feed people."
The event's silent auction will open at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10 and close on the day of the event, Aug 13. To register for the event, receive notifications and a link to participate when the auction opens, go to www.FoodForThePoor.org/one.
Event sponsors include Salem Media Group, Boca Raton Community Church, Hormel Foods, The Calmark Group, Florida Aquastore and Sandals Foundation.
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.
954-427-2222 x 6054