Just before COVID-19 upturned daily life, you and FFPC partners – Ontario Christian Gleaners and the ladies at Westover Layettes – helped to send a shipment of soup and layettes to vulnerable communities in Jamaica. Read more about this shipment here.
Since COVID-19, many families have been left without work and have turned to churches, community centres and organizations like FFPC to feed and clothe their families. While this was not intended to be a shipment in response to the situation brought on by the pandemic, it certainly arrived in the nick of time to support families through this challenging time.
Deacon Johnson is Coordinator for the Welfare Programme at Jew Pen Church of God 7th Day, found it very rewarding to improve even just one immediate challenge that an individual or family may be facing.
“The needs of many of these persons have worsened because of the Coronavirus, which has since placed some individuals out of a job. Many persons in the community need assistance even with items like the Layettes and so we were not able to give every person in the district. Nevertheless, thanks again to Food For The Poor and donors, we were able to reach quite a few persons because of the kindness provided to our Church. ”
Deacon goes on to explain the church’s sources of funding. “The source of the churchs’ ability to help is from a small chicken coop we operate, where we raise and sell chickens. The funds earned from this venture is used to purchase the items we give the individuals. Additionally, we host fund-raising activities such as church socials. The funds earned goes towards the welfare programme. Church members contribute from their pockets whenever they can, but other than Food For The Poor, no other entity donates to the cause.” Due to the Coronavirus, we are not able to assist persons to the extent that we would have wanted because we are not able to organize fund-raising activities. We are also not able to raise chickens because the demand has somewhat decreased due to persons losing their jobs, resulting in them not being able to make purchases as they normally would. In addition, some persons in the Church, who normally support the programme out of pocket, have also lost their jobs, which means we are not able to acquire funds in that manner. “
Some recipients graciously shared their stories and their gratitude.
“We also got a baby kit, which came at the right time because my spouse and I did not buy anything in preparation for the birth of our baby due to the lack of income. We were not sure how it would have worked out; so, we are very grateful. It would be nice if the packages also had wipes and baby/olive oil as well, but we are thankful for the items received.“
“I have a new-born baby girl and two other children. I am elated and grateful for the items received and I want to extend blessings to the donors and Food For The Poor. The baby kit is nicely done.”
Pastor Edwards of the Lighthouse Ministries says “there is a young, pregnant lady who sells in the market to earn an income. But she expressed to us that her state is so poor that she does not even have clothes that she could have worn to the church to collect the Layettes for her baby. We are trying to assist her further. These are some of the persons you are helping, [your donations are] helping to make a difference.”
Pastor Janet Edwards goes on to say that “Our church is a distribution centre, where we receive food from Food For The Poor, which is then collected by other churches. Those churches distribute to residents in their vicinity. We had two packets of the Vegetable Soup Mix that were not collected, and we made very good use of the product. We have a feeding programme at the Lighthouse Assembly Ministries, where we cook mainly for children, some of whom do not normally get a meal after school as the family struggles to provide same. Since the onset on the coronavirus, we have seen an increase in demand, where not only children, but a few adults, have benefitted.” Those responsible for the feeding programme at Lighthouse Assembly Ministries got creative with the Vegetable Soup Mix. Instead of making a soup, “We prepared the mixture as the side dish to accompany the rice and protein choice that was serve to children. From the 200 meals prepared, approximately 100 included the Vegetable Soup Mix.”
Winnifred Gonzales got creative preparing her meal and instead of making a soup, she cooked a stew using the Vegetable Soup Mix.
“I am a vegetarian, so it is good for me. It is like vegetable mince, which I cook in the pressure-cooker because some of the mix was hard. It is nice and I love that I did not need additional salt. All I added was some onion, tomato, garlic, and es-scallion. When my daughter saw the package, she was skeptical about eating it. However, she took a second serving after it was cooked. She said, it tasted good. Thanks again for this vegetable soup mix.”
This would not be possible with your ongoing support of Food For The Poor Canada. Your generosity has a real-life impact on the day to day lives of children and families in communities just like Jew Pen and Garbally Drive. Thank you.
- On July 29, 2020