Facts About Our Work in Jamaica

Jamaica was the first country assisted by Food For The Poor, which began helping the island nation in 1982.

  • Food For The Poor has built, replaced or expanded more than 291 schools
  • Since inception, the charity built 35,779 homes island-wide
  • We work with 25 children's homes caring for 500 children

More About Our Work

In 1983, Food For The Poor-Jamaica was established and is the largest charity organization in Jamaica. The office and warehouse complex is located in Spanish Town, at the intersection of five highways, which leads to all parts of the island. Food For The Poor partners with more than 1,300 churches and institutions for the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items. Food For The Poor has completed hundreds of projects in Jamaica with a focus on education, medical, housing and agriculture. In 2019, the ministry shipped 583 tractor-trailers of essential supplies.

Education:

  • In 2019, Food For The Poor built, repaired or expanded 15 schools. In 2017, Food For The Poor made history in Jamaica by building 100 schools in five years thanks to the generous support of its donors in the United States, Canada and Jamaica.
  • A total of 291 schools have been assisted by projects that have built, repaired or expanded schools island-wide. Food For The Poor continuously provides schools with furniture, supplies and sports equipment, creating a healthy learning environment for students.
  • In 2019, Food For The Poor donated 40 computer sets. Each set can be used by six students at a time. A total of 760 computer sets have been donated, providing computer access for 4,560 students in schools, homework centers and other underserved neighborhood sites.
  • Schools regularly are provided with food to support breakfast and lunch programs. As a result, schools report increased attendance, better performance and greater student attention spans. Additional nutritional support is provided through agriculture projects and chicken coops.
  • Food For The Poor has provided assistance to more than 360 students so that they can attend school through its annual scholarship program, which provides funding for school fees and books.
  • In 2019, two sets of band instruments were donated for a total of 136 marching band sets, including drums, saxophones, flutes, trumpets, clarinets and trombones were distributed to schools and community programs aimed at reducing inner-city violence by engaging youth, giving them hope for their future.

Housing:

  • In 2019, Food For The Poor donors built 517 homes. Since inception, the charity has built 35,779 homes island-wide.
  • The houses are equipped with indoor sanitation facilities, solar-powered lighting, a gas stove and furniture. There’s also a loft space for greater sleeping capacity.
  • Food For The Poor holds an annual 5K Walk/Run fundraising event in Kingston to help provide homes for the destitute. Last year, 23 homes were built through this local event.

Agriculture and Fishing Villages:

  • Food For The Poor’s agricultural development program has been essential in safeguarding food security and in helping small farmers, fishermen and institutions with income-generating projects.
  • The ministry provides thousands of farmers with hand tools (pitch forks, shovels, etc.), gas-operated water pumps and tillers. Inner-city communities, schools, orphanages and other institutions also receive help with producing crops and livestock for food and profit.
  • Food For The Poor established its first fishing village in Jamaica 20 years ago, providing local fishermen with boats and engines, fishing gear and storage facilities. The program has 15 firmly established fishing villages around the island with 69 boats. The charity continues to train fishermen to improve their techniques.
  • In 2019, Food For The Poor equipped 46 beekeepers for a total of 266 beekeepers island-wide since establishing the program. This income-generating project allows farmers to harvest quality honey.
  • Food For The Poor continues to delve into agriculture technology by providing greenhouses for crop production. Food For The Poor began to supplement the school feeding programs with vegetables grown by students to assist the schools in providing sustainable income.
  • Pig, chicken and goat-rearing projects have been vital in providing income for individuals and institutions that are helping the disadvantaged, and for churches ministering to families in need.

Food Distribution:

  • Approximately 350,000 Jamaicans are fed each month through distribution centers.
  • Each year, Food For The Poor teams up with the Salvation Army to provide a Christmas celebration for the indigent and homeless in Kingston.

Children’s Homes:

  • Food For The Poor’s Angels Of Hope program works with 25 homes that care for 500 orphaned or abandoned children.
  • In 2019, the Reddies Place of Safety and the Salvation Army’s The Nest Children’s Home in Kingston, Sunbeam Boys Home and Yadel Children’s Home in St. Catherine received water catchment storage tanks and filtration units.
  • In 2019, the Strathmore Gardens Children’s Home received broiler and layer hen coops.
  • In 1918, Wortley Home opened its doors to orphaned or abandoned young girls in Kingston. In 2015, the home was destroyed by fire. One hundred years after originally opening, Food For The Poor built a beautiful two-story facility with the capacity to accommodate 32 girls, up from the previous capacity of 24. The facilities have two16-bed dormitories, a sick bay, a homework and study room equipped with computers, separate bedrooms and bathrooms for the house mother and staff.

Medical:

  • Moravia Health Center, Harry Watch Clinic, Manchester, and Rock River Health Center, Clarendon are completed.
  • Medicines and other medical supplies are provided to clinics and hospitals across the island. Durable medical equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs are provided to needy recipients.
  • Two annual health fairs are held in Kingston and Westmoreland to provide free healthcare access to children and adults. In 2019, Food For The Poor’s Our Lady of the Poor Clinic had more than 4,200 patient visits for blood pressure and blood sugar checks, HIV testing, dental, vision and hearing examinations, and general medical check-ups.
  • Food For The Poor provided eight health centers with water storage projects.
  • Food For The Poor provides financial assistance to aid in the care of more than 200 occupants in the country’s largest residential facility for the sick and the elderly.

Prison Ministry:

  • Food For The Poor’s Prison Ministry Program was established in 1998. Through the program, the ministry assists in freeing and reintroducing nonviolent prisoners back into the community. Since the inception of the program, 723 men and women have received their freedom.
  • More than 7,000 ex-inmates have also benefited from the “Fresh Start Program” that provides assistance with profitable jobs, such as welding, carpentry, farming and tailoring. These new releases are supplied with a source of income and are discouraged from repeating their offenses.
  • Food For The Poor also assists correctional institutions by providing monthly supplies of food, medicine and general items such as mattresses.
  • The Prison Ministry division also branches out to assist youth clubs, children of inmates, and holds an annual summer band and monthly band sessions for struggling youths.

The population is approximately three million residents. The language is English and Protestant is their largest religious denomination. The currency is the Jamaican dollar and the GDP per capita is $9,200.