More than 16 non-profit feeding centre and church outreach programmes on Grand Bahama were the recipients of some much-needed assistance from the Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) recently.
Representatives gathered at the Voice of Deliverance Church in Freeport to receive food vouchers to Abaco Markets Limited (AML Foods) which were distributed by BFN’s executive director, Phillip Smith.
During the presentation, Mr Smith reaffirmed the Network’s commitment to working closely with feeding organisations on the island and noted that BFN was making plans to assemble a local team in the second city.
“BFN is very pleased to carry out this distribution to feeding centres on Grand Bahama. We have heard a lot about the state of the economy on the island and it is obvious that persons are experiencing difficult times. The food vouchers are redeemable at AML Solomon’s and Cost Right stores and we have carefully selected organisations to distribute the vouchers in their respective areas. Moving forward, these feeding programmes will be the nucleus of BFN distributions on Grand Bahama,” he said.
For the last three years, AML Foods has carried out an initiative called “Feed the 5,000” and invited BFN to partner with them. Last year, $134,000 was raised. Of this amount, $20,000 was donated by AML Foods. For the last two years a large portion of the total amount raised was distributed in Grand Bahama due to the state of the island’s economy.
The Network recently received a financial boost from Royal Caribbean International for a commitment to fund all the food needed by the Bahamas Feeding Network in 2019. Mr Smith is encouraged by the new partnership and is hopeful that it will extend to Grand Bahama as well.
“Our aim is to solicit donations from additional companies and establish a formulated distribution process on the island, working in conjunction with the great organisations who are working daily to help others. I am hopeful that partnerships like Royal Caribbean and others will continue to assist us in accomplishing this mission,” said Mr Smith.
Visiting Pastor Emmanuel Maroa, of Voice of Deliverance Church in Nairobi, Kenya, attended the voucher distribution and was impressed by the effectiveness of the organisation and the dedication of representatives in attendance. Pastor Maroa expressed his desire to introduce a similar programme in Kenya, to assist those living in extreme poverty.
“This programme would definitely make a difference in the villages of Kenya. Many people are suffering daily and the level of poverty is very high. I know a programme such as this will not be able to feed everyone, but if we can reach those in dire need, we will make a difference in the lives of people,” he said.
In a Labour Force Survey conducted by the Department of Statistics in November 2018, it was reported that 11.9 percent or 3,900 people residing on Grand Bahama were unemployed.
For more information on the Bahamas Feeding Network, visit their website, www.bahamasfeedingnetwork.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.