NEARLY 50 churches, soup kitchens and feeding centres are expected to take part in a groundbreaking workshop on Friday when the Bahamas National Feeding Network hosts the Ambassador Frank Crothers Inaugural Best Practices Seminar featuring one of America’s leading authorities on feeding programmes.
The Network will also launch an awareness campaign to increase the public’s consciousness on the hunger plight faced by many people in the country at the seminar, from 8.30am to 2pm at the Independence Ballroom of the Melia Nassau Beach Resort.
“With one in seven persons facing hunger in the Bahamas, this seminar will provide the ideal opportunity for the more than 50 churches and feeding centres that make up our membership to gain firsthand knowledge in areas ranging from fundraising, operations, management and VAT and its effect on charities,” said Philip Smith, Bahamas National Feeding Network (BNFN) Executive Director. “We are also very excited to have Bill Bolling, past Executive Director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, an organisation which monitors the distribution of millions of pounds of good but unmarketable food and groceries to some 600 non-profit partners that feed the hungry, as our keynote speaker.”
Minister of Social Services and Community Development, Melanie Griffin, will officially open the first annual seminar, named after founder Frank Crothers, Ambassador of The Embassy of Rhodes and Malta.
Minister of State for Finance, Michael Halkitis, will lead a presentation on VAT and its effect on charities and Astra Armbrister, Director of Development at the Bahamas National Trust, will speak on implementing and developing fundraising initiatives. Cherely Kelly, Assistant Director from the Ministry of Social Services, will also lead a session.
The Network was launched to try to find a better way to unite the efforts of the many churches and feeding centres in the Bahamas seeking to feed the growing number of hungry people. Launched in December 2013, the Network has donated $70,000 in food coupons to feeding organisations to date. The Network will increase this amount by a donation of $100,000 to its members during the upcoming workshop.
“We are very excited to be making the largest single donation in our organisation’s history during the workshop,” said Mr Smith. ”We know that the food vouchers will greatly assist our partners, enabling those who feed the hungry to serve many additional hot meals.”
Board members of the BNFN include Mr Crothers, Chairman Felix Stubbs, Mr Smith, Peter Whitehead, Shayne Davis, Patricia Hermanns, Sean Moree, Lester Ferguson, Elaine Pinder, Tony Myers and Pastor Timothy Stuart.
Member partners of BNFN are the Bahamas Red Cross, Bethel Baptist Church, Brea Seventh-Day Adventist, Calvary Bible Church, Changes Ministries International, Church of God of Prophecy, Club Restoration, Cornerstone Zion Ministries, Cornerstone Haitian Church, Cornerstone Zion Christian Partners of Hope, Ebenezer Methodist Church, Eljay’s Hilltop Cottage Ministries, Family of Faith Ministry, Great Commission Ministries International, God Temple of Praise, Heal Our Land, Judea Baptist Church, Kingdom Ambassadors World Outreach Ministries, Lakeview Church of God, Low Sound Seventh-Day Adventist, Mosseff House, MCC Methodist Church, Mt Calvary Baptist Church, Mt Olive Baptist Church, Mt Paran Baptist Church, New Bethany Baptist Cathedral, New Life Restoration Ministries, New Mt Sinai Baptist Church, New Mount Zion Missionary Church, New Vision Ministries International, Operation SOLD, Pentecostal Baptist Church, Remnant Tabernacle of Praise, Sanctuary of the Redeem, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Shiloh Temple Baptist, Society of St Vincent DePaul, Solid Rock Church, South Andros Christian Centre, St Joseph’s Church, St Michael Catholic Church, Stephen Dillet School, The Anglican Diocese, The Salvation Army, Vision of Hope Cathedral, Wesley Methodist Church, World of Hope Ministry and Youth for God Through Christ.