Facts About Our Work in Jamaica

Jamaica, the first country assisted by Food For The Poor, partners with thousands of churches and institutions for the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items.

  • Food For The Poor has built, replaced or expanded more than 290 schools
  • Since inception, the charity built 35,262 homes island-wide
  • We work with 27 children's homes caring for 577 children

More About Our Work

Jamaica was the first country assisted by Food For The Poor, which began helping the island nation in 1982. 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 thousands of 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 2018, the ministry shipped 903 tractor-trailer loads of essential supplies to Jamaica.

Education

  • In 2018, Food for The Poor built, repaired or expanded 25 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.
  • More than 290 schools have been assisted by projects that have built, repaired or expanded schools island-wide, a Food For The Poor initiative to improve the educational system and provide access to a healthy learning environment for students. The ministry continuously provides schools with furniture, supplies and sports equipment.
  • In 2018, a total of 120 computer stations were donated, bringing the total to 720 computer stations provided to schools, homework centers and other underserved neighborhood institutions.
  • 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 such as greenhouses and chicken coops.
  • Food For The Poor has provided assistance to 525 students so that they can attend school through its annual scholarship program, which provides funding for school fees and books.
  • In 2018, a total of 16 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 2018, through the generosity of the donors, Food For The Poor constructed 693 homes. Since inception, the charity built 35,262 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 and in 2018, 51 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 seeds, 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 18 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 2018, Food For The Poor assisted 120 beekeepers for a total of 220 beekeepers island-wide since establishing the bee farming program. This income-generating project allows farmers to harvest quality honey to sell.
  • Food For The Poor continues to delve into agriculture technology by providing greenhouses for crop production. In 2017, 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, which are helping the disadvantaged, and for churches ministering to those in need.
  • Food For The Poor has successfully introduced aquaculture production into its portfolio of projects by introducing the Pangasius species (also known as Basa) as an alternative low-cost protein. The ministry has been instrumental in improving spawning techniques to provide fingerlings.

Food Distribution

  • Nearly 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. In 2018, more than 2,000 meals were served.

Children’s Homes

  • Food For The Poor’s Angels Of Hope program works with 27 homes that care for 577 orphaned or abandoned children.
  • 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. Facilities include, two 16-bed dormitories, a sick bay, a homework and study room equipped with computers, separate bedrooms and bathrooms for the house mother and staff. There’s an office, meeting room and common area for visitors.

Medical

  • In 2018, the Moravia Health Center was completed.
  • A new clinic is under construction in Harry Watch, Manchester.
  • Rock River Health Center, in Clarendon, is currently under construction.
  • In 2017, Food For The Poor built a health clinic to serve the rural community of Castleton in St. Mary.
  • 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 2018, Food For The Poor’s Our Lady of the Poor Clinic had 7,310 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 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, more than 700 men and women have received their freedom
  • Nearly 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.
  • Interventions in 2017 included the construction of an educational center, to improve the literacy of inmates prior to their release from prison.