FREEPORT, BAHAMAS – More than sixteen nonprofit feeding centers and church outreach programs 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 Executive Director, Phillip Smith.
During the presentation, Smith reaffirmed the Network’s commitment to working closely with feeding organizations 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 centers on Grand Bahama,” said Smith. “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 organizations to distribute the vouchers in their respective areas. Moving forward, these feeding programs will be the nucleus of BFN distributions on Grand Bahama.”
For the last three years AML Foods Ltd. carried out an initiative called “Feed the 5000” and invited Bahamas Feeding Network to partner with them. Last year $134,000 was raised, of this amount $20,000 was donated by AML Foods Ltd. For the last two years a large portion of the total amount raised was distributed in Grand Bahama due to the state of the economy in Grand Bahama.
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 organizations who are working daily to help others” he said. “I am hopeful that partnerships like Royal Caribbean and others will continue to assist us in accomplishing this mission.
Visiting Pastor Emmanuel Maroa, of Voice of Deliverance Church in Nairobi, Kenya, attended the voucher distribution and was impressed by the effectiveness of the organization and the dedication of representatives in attendance. Pastor Maroa expressed his desire to introduce a similar program in Kenya, to assist persons living in extreme poverty.
“This program 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 program 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.”
In a Labour Force Survey conducted by the Department of Statistics in November 2018, it was reported that 11.9% or 3,900 persons residing on Grand Bahama were unemployed.