FOOD For The Poor (FFP) will today be handing out in excess of $5 million in back-to-school grant vouchers to more than 200 financially challenged students from across the island.
FFP said the presentations, which will take place at its Ellerslie Pen Office in Spanish Town, St Catherine, will enable the youngsters to cover the cost of textbooks, general school supplies, school fees and/or tuition fees.
The donation to each child varies from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $140,000, in the case of some tertiary students.
According to the charity, among those to be given cash vouchers include children of needy families whom FFP had previously assisted with the provision of shelter and food, as well as to students who applied to FFP for assistance.
"We at FFP are committed to ensuring that less fortunate children are able to access the best quality education, and thereby be in a better position to succeed in life," said Jacqueline Johnson, FFP executive director.
Today's presentation to students, said the charity, is part of several initiatives by FFP to advance the preparations of students and educational institutions for the new academic year.
The charity, in a release from its publicist, said it has provided a significant boost in new furniture and general educational supplies to these institutions for the new school year.
"This latest donation brings to $149 million, the value of furniture and supplies distributed to educational institutions by FFP, since the start of 2013," the release said.
Among schools which have benefited for the new school year are: Alpha Academy, Clan Carthy Primary, Franklyn Town Primary, GC Foster College, Holmwood Technical, Kendal All-Age, Kingston Technical, Knox College, Moneague College, Papine High, Pembrooke Hall High, Rose Bank All-Age, Sydney Pagon Agricultural High, St Catherine High, St Jago High, Tacius Golding High and Planters Hall All-Age.
Additionally, FFP said that starting in September it will continue contributing food resources to 300 educational institutions, on a monthly basis, to augment their feeding programme for students.
The charity will also be donating back-to-school cash grants and backpacks of educational supplies to needy students.
The sports departments at educational institutions have also come in for support, with the charity giving 200 primary and secondary schools footballs, basketballs and volleyballs to supplement their sporting programmes.
Kingston College, which the release said has been reeling from a deterioration in its school infrastructure and school furniture, as well as a shortage of some educational appliances, has also benefited.
Johnson said that after her charity received a request from Kingston College, FFP carried out its investigations into the needs of the school and has provided two 40-foot containers of assorted school furniture, and an additional 40-foot container with combination desks and chairs. "We have also provided 15 pallets of tiles to the institution," Johnson said.
The charity will also be giving Kingston College two additional containers of assorted furniture and 22 sets of N-Computing kits, she said.
"This donation will assist us in creating/providing a more conducive environment for the teaching and learning process. Thanks to FFP, most of our concerns have been addressed so that come the new school year, the school will be able to provide students with the required resources," said Kingston College Principal Dave Myrie.