NPO provides direct financial support, training and volunteer opportunities to revitalize the country’s economy and food systems
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — World Central Kitchen (WCK) has announced the recipients of its fourth round of grants on Abaco and Grand Bahama, disbursed through its Food Producer Network (FPN).
The program builds resilient local food systems and strengthens food security through direct financial support to smallholder farmers and fishers, as well as small food-related businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The program seeks to revitalize its beneficiaries’ operations and re-grow their capacity to produce, distribute and sell food at the local level to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports.
The new FPN program participants on Grand Bahama include Divine Harvest and Passion Way Farms. Also joining the program are the fishing projects Fox Fisheries, God’s Favour, Linda’s Spartan, Seafood Delight, Tates Best Price Ferry, as well as fisher Alin Desir.
Additionally, WCK has awarded a second grant to Gedeon’s Farm on Abaco. Operated by Brenda & Tigedeon Gedeon, the farm raises livestock and grows crops such as watermelon, goat and finger peppers, eggplant, cucumber, avocado and okra.
Having used their first grant to purchase a tractor, Brenda and Tigedeon will use their second WCK grant to improve fencing around their farm.
The funds will be used by program participants to finance capital improvements like upgrading food packing and storage facilities and to purchase walk-in coolers, motors for fishing boats, lobster traps and other fishing equipment.
WCK also offers technical capacity-building workshops to raise participant production capabilities and enhance commercial operations to increase sales and access to markets.
Additionally, WCK assists beneficiaries through its volunteer network, composed of local community members and visitors who provide community service to help participants meet their goals.
Mikol Hoffman, FPN director, said: “Through this network, we have supported 39 small businesses and organizations in The Bahamas.
“Nearly four years after launching FPN, we have concrete data showing that members of the network can double production and sales within a year of joining the program.
“It is exciting to witness this progress firsthand, which motivates us to continue striving to advance the needs of small businesses within the food sector.
“We will continue to work collaboratively to improve access to healthy, local foods for all people of the region.”
FPN was established in Puerto Rico in 2018 in response to the devastating hurricane season the year prior. Since then, $4.1 million in grants have been disbursed to food producers affected by natural disasters in the Caribbean and Central America.
In 2020, to support food security in The Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, the program expanded to Abaco and Grand Bahama, where it has invested over half a million dollars in food-related businesses.
WCK will open a new call for grant applications in The Bahamas by March 2022.
For more information, please visit wck.org/fpn and follow WCK on social media facebook.com/wckfpn.
For a calendar of upcoming webinars, please visit wck.org/fpn-events.