Nobody in this fertile land should be in need of food, says GGMonday, October 04, 2021
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, citing statistics that indicate that each night one in six people in Jamaica go to bed hungry, is calling for better distribution of food to alleviate hunger in the society.
“This is alarming statistics as nobody in this fertile land should be in need of food or starving,” said the governor general. “We have enough food to feed everyone…the problem is distribution. We must stop the cycle of agriculture produce rotting in the fields in some parts of the island, while people are hungry in other areas,” Sir Patrick was quoted in a release by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Sir Patrick made the call when he brought greetings, via a recoded video, during the virtual launch of The Food Bank by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica. The virtual launch took place at the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Center in Mount Salem, St James, recently and was broadcast live on all the church's platforms across Jamaica.
“As a church, we must respond to this vast need,” said Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, as he launched the food bank. “There are persons in our churches and persons in our wider community who are hungry today. As a result, the church must respond and therefore, in collaboration with our five conferences (regions)we have decided to be intentional in launching The Food Bank.”
In addressing the theme for the day and the tagline for The Food Bank – 'Giving, Caring, Sharing' — Pastor Brown said ever since the inception of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, its conferences and institutions such as Northern Caribbean University and Andrews Memorial Hospital, as well as the wider membership of the church have been using their resources to address the social and spiritual needs of the people.
“The Food Bank will seek to source food and distribute the food through the five conference and in turn conferences will distribute the food to persons in the church and persons in the wider community,” said Brown.
“I have decided to make an annual contribution so I am inviting every member, I am inviting corporate Jamaica to contribute more and allow the Spirit of God to touch your heart as we source funds and as we source food to feed the hungry and needy in Jamaica,” Brown added.
And in commending the church for launching the project to make food available to those in need, Sir Patrick said, “The challenges of the pandemic demand a response like this one. Many persons have either been laid off or lost their jobs. Some have little or no income or lack access to safe nutritious and sufficient food.
“I encourage each one of you to support this programme and let the needy know that there is food in God's storehouse for them. I have a duty of care to support this initiative because I know what it means to be hungry and in need. You also will be blessed as you give your support so that you can be like an ever-flowing stream,” Sir Patrick said
Also endorsing the programme and committing an amount of $30,000 was Councillor Leroy Williams, mayor of Montego Bay, through the St James Municipal Corporation. He encouraged other organisations and individuals to support the initiative, which he believes is a worthy and timely one.
“The Food Bank is expected to initially benefit more than 500 families every month,” said Pastor Adrian Cotterell, community services director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.
“Over time this figure will increase as we receive support from our constituencies and donors locally and internationally.”
“Plans were in place before the pandemic to launch the Food Bank, however, the pandemic has worsened the economic well-being of many more families and hence, we consider this a privilege to have a food bank as a ministry to communities,” Cotterell explained.
The church currently operates several food distribution units across its regions with the flagship operation. the Good Samaritan Inn, in Kingston, which serves hot meals to more than 600 street people three to four days per week.
The Food Bank will operate through all five regions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, covering every parish.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has more than 300,000 members who worship online and in more than 700 churches across Jamaica.