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Service Of Thanksgiving For Food For The Poor

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Persons from across the Caribbean Diaspora turned out on November 18 for a Service of Thanksgiving, followed by a tour of the headquarters of Food for the Poor at Coconut Creek, South Florida.

Under the patronage of the Consulate General of Jamaica, the event was organised by the Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board for Southern United States and staff of Food for the Poor, to share experiences, best practices and resources, in an effort to foster effective methods of response to disasters and other areas of need in the Caribbean and Latin American region.

In his welcome remarks, President and Chief Executive Officer of Food for the Poor, Robin Mahfood, told the audience that in an effort to work together, “we must put our heads and hearts together.” He reminded them that his organisation remained committed to improving access to education as a key initiative to eliminating poverty.

Ranked among the 10 largest charities in the United States, the organisation was started in 1982, and has since had relationships with countries of the Caribbean region, serving in the area of international relief and development organisation.

For her part, Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths encouraged persons in the Diaspora to create mechanisms to do even more for the community.

The Consul General said that while community groups work to support their charities individually, in the areas of medicine, education and social missions, Food for the Poor already had mechanisms in place to help when there is a situation that calls for major response.

Executive Director of Food for the Poor, Angel Aloma, also echoed a call for more service to the region. He said that the coming together of the Diaspora was an effort “to increase awareness of the needs of our people.”

Food for the Poor operates in nearly 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, working with missionaries and churches and in some cases, independently.

St. Lucia’s Consul General, Kent Hippolyte was also on hand to express gratitude to Food for the Poor, and the wider community for ongoing support for the island, in response to the devastation in St. Lucia, in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas, recently.

Describing the Christian organisation as “a bastion of excellence as it continues to do God’s work,” Marlon Hill, Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board representative to the Southern USA, reminded persons of the vital role played by Food for the Poor in local and overseas communities.

He also called for closer collaboration and partnership with the various community groups and Food for the Poor to further benefit the programmes carried out by the international relief and development agency in the Diaspora and across the region.

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