Food For The Poor, Key Partners Ramp Up Bahamas Recovery

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 4, 2020)  Food For The Poor is working with the Episcopal Church, the Baptist Church and the Catholic Church in the Bahamas as they each begin a large-scale rebuilding effort to help families whose homes were heavily damaged by Hurricane Dorian six months ago in September.

After the catastrophic storm, donors generously gave money to the charity to provide critical aid such as food, generators and hygiene kits as well as to cover long-term needs like repairing hundreds of homes.

WHAT: Press Conferences

WHEN & WHERE: 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 6
Food For The Poor Warehouse
6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073

1 p.m. Sunday, March 8
Harry C. Moore Library and Information Center
University of The Bahamas in Nassau

WHY: Food For The Poor and partners talk about work to bring relief to the Bahamas and help people rebuild their homes after Hurricane Dorian.

INTERVIEWS: Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine
Sen. Kay Forbes-Smith, Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority
Other key partners

Other key partners involved in the recovery include: Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, HeadKnowles Foundation, Mission Resolve Foundation, Mercy Corps. Holy Cross Hospital, American Red Cross, One Eleuthera Foundation, IDEA Relief, Seacor, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, Entrepreneurs Organization, Young Presidents' Organization, and Entrepreneurs Across Borders.

Bahamas Sen. Kay Forbes-Smith, who leads the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, said Food For The Poor, like many NGOs, has provided wonderful support of the Bahamas recovery. "We are ecstatic to receive shipping chassis and solar-powered street lights through their wonderful and generous donation," said Forbes-Smith.

Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine said the charity is committed to the Bahamas' long-term recovery. He said Dorian has created a new class of poor families in the Bahamas who may never recover without outside help.

"We know that the goods we've sent have meant the world to those suffering, but the longer term needs are great. Mass numbers of people have been displaced," Raine said. "It's going to take some time for the Bahamas to recover, but Food For The Poor is committed to being there every step of the way with the support of our dedicated donors."

Supplies being purchased and shipped to the Bahamas include:

  • 28 containers of building materials such as lumber, sheet rock and plywood to the Episcopal Church, which will oversee the distribution to 270 homeowners on Grand Bahama and Abaco. The church has received the first three containers. The rest will be delivered in stages.
  • 29 containers of building materials to the Baptist Church, which will oversee distribution to 500 homeowners on Grand Bahama. The first three containers were shipped this week.
  • 750 solar-powered street lamps. The equipment will be sent in stages. The Grand Bahama Power Co. will install the lights.
  • 30 truck chassis, including 26 to the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority to help move containers off the port and four to HeadKnowles Foundation to transport goods. The charity is working closely with former Bahamas Senate President Kay Forbes-Smith, who now oversees the authority. Forbes-Smith previously had served as lead coordinator for the Hurricane Dorian restoration efforts in Grand Bahama. After the recovery is completed, the authority will donate the chassis to other churches and nongovernmental organizations in the Bahamas.
  • Four containers of food and cleaning supplies to HeadKnowles Foundation. Earlier this month, the charity received an urgent request for food from HeadKnowles for displaced families who are living in public shelters or staying with others who have opened their homes as shelters.
Food For The Poor also plans to send building supplies to the Archdiocese of Nassau.

"We want to thank Food For The Poor for their generosity in reaching out to us and continuing to support us in the restoration effort," said Archdeacon Earl Hepburn, of the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Gigi Curtis, who lives in Regency Park on Grand Bahama, received lumber and plywood to repair her home, which was heavily damaged by up to 7 feet of water during Dorian.

"You don't believe that's the house you lived in," she said after stepping inside for the first time after the storm. "It was like a whirl of wind and water turned everything upside down. It was so overwhelming. You just can't imagine something like that happening."

Curtis said she is grateful for the help.

"We thank God for an organization like Food For The Poor that has done everything they can to help us," she said. "There are people out there who can't help themselves and who need an organization like you."

Here is a video of Curtis talking about her situation expressing her gratitude to Food For the Poor: www.foodforthepoor.org/bahamasrecovery

As trusted partners, all three churches are expected to play a key role in the Bahamas' long-term recovery.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, volunteers from the Episcopal and Catholic churches in the Bahamas oversaw distribution of aid from Food For The Poor to families left with nothing. Dr. Timothy Stewart, President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, helped set up meetings with the charity and Bahamian government leaders.

The Episcopal Church of Southeast Florida contributed a portion of the funds used to purchase building materials.

"The churches know their communities best, who is hurting and how we should prioritize assistance," said Raine.

In addition to sending critically needed items like food, the charity is working with longtime partner Water Mission to provide clean water.

Water Mission has installed two water purification units in Green Turtle Cay and Treasure Cay in the Abaco Islands after Hurricane Dorian caused saltwater to infiltrate much of the Bahamas' existing water supply.

Two more units are being installed in Pelican Point and McLean's Town on Grand Bahama. Each unit can provide 4,000 gallons of clean water a day.

Through mid-February, the charity shipped 37 containers of disaster relief to the Bahamas.
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 or 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
michaelt@foodforthepoor.com