Facts About Our Work in Jamaica

Jamaica was the first country assisted by Food For The Poor (FFTP), which began helping the island nation in 1982. In 1983, FFTP-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 lead to all parts of the island. FFTP partners with more than 1,300 churches and institutions for the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items. The charity has completed hundreds of projects in Jamaica with a focus on education, medical, housing and agriculture. In the first six months of 2020, FFTP shipped 252 tractor-trailers of essential supplies.

In March 2020, COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, became a pandemic and FFTP responded quickly to the crisis. By mid-March, FFTP airfreighted five pallets of antimicrobial wipes, gloves, masks, protective suits, bars of soap, facial tissues, and medical waste bags. The supplies were donated to FFTP by Gleaning For The World, one of the charity’s partners.

  • By the end of June, there were nearly 700 coronavirus cases throughout the country, according to worldometers.info. Families living in poverty have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus.
  • FFTP established the Basket of Care program to address food insecurity as a result of COVID-19. The charity assisted the Montego Bay Diocese in providing food baskets for 1,875 families.
  • FFTP also established a Basket of Care: Front-line Healthcare Workers program, which is being funded by donors to assist those who are working tirelessly in this battle against the coronavirus.

Education:

  • In the first six months of 2020, FFTP built, repaired or expanded four schools. In 2017, the charity 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.
  • In the first six months of 2020, six water harvesting projects for schools have been initiated and executed to increase the school’s capacity to secure water.
  • A total of 295 schools have been assisted by projects that have built, repaired or expanded schools island-wide. FFTP continuously provides schools with furniture, supplies and sports equipment, creating a healthy learning environment for students. The charity shipped 35 tractor-trailers of those goods within the first six months of 2020.
  • In 2019, FFTP 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.
  • FFTP assists more than 360 students so that they can attend school through its annual scholarship program, which provides funding for school fees and books.
  • In the first six months of 2020, a tractor-trailer load of musical instruments was sent to Jamaica. 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 the first six months of 2020, FFTP donors built 180 homes. Since inception, the charity has built 35,959 homes island-wide. The homes are equipped with indoor sanitation, solar-powered lighting, a gas stove and furniture. There’s also a loft space for greater sleeping capacity.

Agriculture and Fishing Villages:

  • FFTP’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, children’s homes and other institutions also receive help with producing crops and livestock for food and profit.
  • FFTP established its first fishing village in Jamaica 21 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, FFTP equipped 46 beekeepers for a total of 266 beekeepers island-wide, since the program was established. This income-generating project allows farmers to harvest quality honey.
  • FFTP continues to delve into agriculture technology by providing greenhouses for crop production and 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, FFTP teams up with the Salvation Army to provide a Christmas celebration for the indigent and homeless in Kingston.

Children’s Homes:

  • FFTP’s Angels Of Hope program works with 24 homes that care for 414 orphaned and 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 and abandoned girls in Kingston. In 2015, the home was destroyed by fire. One hundred years after originally opening, FFTP 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.
  • In the first six months of 2020, FFTP shipped 25 tractor-trailer loads of medicines, medical equipment and other medical supplies 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, FFTP’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 checkups.
  • FFTP 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:

  • The charity’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, 727 men and women have had their fines paid.
  • 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.
  • FFTP 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 and children of inmates, and holds an annual summer band and monthly band sessions for struggling youths.

The population is approximately 2.8 million residents. The language is English and Protestantism is the largest religion. The currency is the Jamaican dollar and the GDP per capita is $9,200.