10,000 meals for 10,000 families
Rainforest Seafoods, National Baking Company move to reduce hungerWednesday, July 15, 2020
Rainforest Seafoods and National Baking Company have combined to provide meals to 10,000 families islandwide in an initiative designed to reduce hunger in Jamaica which, both companies say, is likely to worsen due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
The initiative, launched last Friday at Rainforest's corporate headquarters in Kingston, will see Food For the Poor (FFP) and Jamaica Red Cross distributing vouchers to needy families who will then exchange the vouchers for food packages at a Rainforest outlet in each parish.
“In the grand scheme of things, our donation is a drop in the bucket. However, we hope it is the start of a national effort to both raise awareness and much-needed funds to continue the distribution of food items to those most in need,” said Rainforest Seafoods director of corporate relations Roger Lyn.
“We're proud to partner with Food For the Poor and Jamaica Red Cross, two outstanding charitable organisations, which will distribute the meals fairly and transparently to 10,000 families, ensuring those most vulnerable will benefit,” Lyn said.
Expressing gratitude for being a part of the initiative, FFP Director Kivette Silvera said, “Having seen the needs and the increased levels of desperation,we, on behalf of those we serve, wholeheartedly welcome this collaborative effort with our long-standing partners, Rainforest Seafoods and National Baking Company.
“While we do not have the official statistics on the number of persons that have been negatively impacted by the virus, what we do know is that before COVID-19 we were serving over 400,000 Jamaicans islandwide. Since the onset of the pandemic, this number has increased substantially, and so the need for donations has intensified based on the increased demand for assistance,” Silvera added.
Red Cross Jamaica Director General Yvonne Clarke also commented on the great effort being made to supply the families with food items.
“We find that there are so many persons who are in need of assistance, especially food, having lost their means of earning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for one reason or another their income has been reduced, so food is badly needed,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
“We really and truly welcome the initiative of the partnership of Rainforest and National who are putting together to ensure, yet another means of support for persons who are so badly in need,” Clarke said.
National Baking Company's director of sales and marketing Craig Hendrickson agreed.
“The pandemic has intensified the challenges for those having to cope with everyday uncertainties of livelihood, and while there is much more to be done, each life enhanced by this donation is counted as a great win in our books as we work towards bettering the lives of our people,” he said.
“In Jamaica, food security continues to be a significant challenge requiring continuous attention and partnership, and we will need all hands on deck in creating sustainable change,” Hendrickson added.
The companies issued an appeal to anyone wishing to provide relief for Jamaicans most in need and pointed out that donations can be made to foodforthepoorja.org/donate_method.php.