COCONUT CREEK, Florida – Hurricane Sandy victims in Fruitful Vale and Norwich in Portland, Jamaica, were relieved when a caravan of containers and trucks manoeuvred past downed power lines and debris to bring them emergency relief assistance on Sunday, October 28. YB Afraid Foundation and Food For The Poor partnered to bring the critically needed supplies to approximately 700 people in urgent need of assistance.
YB Afraid, Yohan Blake's Foundation, made a monetary donation that was matched by Food For The Poor, and assisted in the delivery of food, WATA brand water bottles, mattresses, blankets, and shoes to soaked Hurricane Sandy victims.
The presence of the 28 Food For The Poor staff members and volunteers wearing the charity’s and YB Afraid Foundation shirts offered residents comfort and hope.
"No other organization has come in to help since the passage of the hurricane,” said Kedine White, a Fruitful Vale resident. “This is the first form of help we are getting, I am truly appreciative and I know the other residents are too."
In Portland, many residents reported having the roofs of their homes ripped off, and creeping ocean floodwaters seeping in around windows and doors, filling homes with mud. The hurricane strength wind gusts and merciless rain bands have magnified the need for safe, permanent housing in Jamaica.
"My daughter and I were badly affected by the Hurricane,” said White. “I am so thankful to Food For The Poor for the help, especially the mattress, because we have been sleeping on a damp bed since the hurricane and my daughter's asthma has been acting up ever since. Now we have somewhere dry to sleep at night."
The storm's aftermath will be difficult for the island's farmers who report that ripe fruits were stripped from trees, banana plants were flattened, and pepper plants submerged in mud.
“The storm did a lot of damage in Portland,” said Blake. “A lot of people are suffering without shelter or even food to eat. I am glad to be in a position to help. Through my foundation's partnership with Food For The Poor and WATA on this project we are able to make a positive difference in the lives of those suffering."
Storm relief items from Food For The Poor-Jamaica’s warehouse in Kingston are being distributed and additional containers are expected to arrive soon. The most urgent need now is for cash donations so that food supplies can be replenished, and new homes can be built to prevent any more deaths from landslides.
In November, Blake will lead Food For The Poor's 5K Walk/Run For Hunger in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Proceeds from the 5K Walk/Run will raise money to purchase food to feed destitute families in the Caribbean and Latin America. You can also help by signing up online to fight hunger alongside Jamaican Olympic medal winner Blake on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 a.m. at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Register to participate in the charity’s 5K Walk/Run online at www.FoodForThePoor.org/walk. While on the website, take advantage of free fundraising tips designed to help you reach your fundraising goal by sharing your ideas with family, friends, co-workers and contacts.
Cost of registration is $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-10. There’s no fee for children 5 and under. The registration cost includes a T-shirt for the first 1,500 who sign up. There will be refreshments, live music, balloon artists, face painters and more at this family event. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m., the walk/run begins at 7 a.m. and the awards ceremony is at 8 a.m.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. 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 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.