UWI gala to honour Food For The Poor

A mother and child in Jamaica who were helped by Food For The Poor. By Gerald V. Paul
A mother and child in Jamaica who were helped by Food For The Poor.
By Gerald V. Paul

The Eyes Guy will be on hand at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Toronto Benefit Gala on April 2, mingling with the VIPs and at the reception enjoying some great food – no black tie but sporting a new suit.

The gala happens at the Ritz Carlton, 181 Wellington St. W.

With that delicious food will be food for thought: Among the various awards is the Chancellor Award, presented to people of Caribbean heritage who make outstanding contributions on an international scale in their respective fields, or those who bring to prominence issues that affect the Caribbean (West Indian) region.

So congrats to Food For The Poor for their Chancellor Award in their labour of love these glorious 34 years and counting of serving the poor, saving lives, transforming communities and renewing hope.

Food for The Poor was founded by Ferdinand Mahfood. His vision was instrumental in guiding the charity as it became the most significant relief organization in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Robin Mahfood who has extensive experience in business management and in-depth knowledge of the Caribbean assumed the presidency in 2000 and provides the leadership for Food For The Poor during this time of unprecedented growth.

The relief and development organization which started serving Jamaica in 1982 is now transforming the lives of the destitute in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Public relations representative Wanda Wright noted, “This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95% of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.”

Wright said that, since its inception, Food For The Poor has built more than 107,800 housing units for families in need of safe shelter, completed 2,286 water projects and has built, repaired or expanded more than 350 schools.

The charity has distributed more than 75,000 tractor-trailer loads of goods, resulting in more than $11.4 billion in aid.

According to Mahfood, “None of this would be possible without God. We must give thanks for His tremendous blessings on this organization and for the loving support of our donors who truly want to make a difference in the world.

“Our goal is to provide food, housing, water and an education to break the cycle of poverty. We understand that we cannot fix all the problems but we are committed to helping one person and one family at a time. This is what we are commissioned to do, to help one another.”

With offices in Jamaica, Haiti and Guyana, Food For The Poor has implemented animal husbandry, agricultural and aquaculture projects, and provides the technical training to help families to generate income and to become self-sustaining.

Fishing villages are a prime example of the effectiveness of these types of self-help projects. Currently, 16 fishing villages are in operation in Jamaica and 42 have been established in Honduras, all located along the Caribbean coast.

In 2007, Food For The Poor established a free program which has resulted in the planting of more than two million fruit trees. The organization is currently building villages, community centres and clinics throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

With the continued support of its donors, Food For The Poor will fulfill its mission of saving and transforming lives of the poor.

“Ultimately, we seek to bring both benefactors and recipients to a closer union with our Lord.” Mahoof said.

To that, the Eyes Guy says Amen!

Other awardees at the gala will include Dr. Vivienne Poy, G. Raymond Chang award; Luminary recipient Dr. Shirley Thompson;  Vice-Chancellor Award, Stephen Ames, Wesley Hall and Dr. Paul Steinbok.

For more information on the gala call 416-369-0515.