Hurricane-ravaged Haiti is to receive a donation valued at over J$2.5 million in non-perishable food items from GraceKennedy Ltd.
This donation is bound for Haiti through Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica, which recently made a public appeal for donations following the direct hit from Hurricane Matthew earlier this week.
Don Wehby, group chief executive officer of Grace-Kennedy Ltd, said that the company responded immediately to appeals for help for Haiti after seeing the extent of the destruction that occurred.
“What I have seen online and heard from Food For The Poor about the situation really breaks my heart. Jamaica escaped this storm, but several countries have really been hit and we all just have to come together and do what we can to bring relief at this time,” Wehby said.
He added: “Hurricane Matthew has again reminded us of how vulnerable our region is to the risk of extreme weather events. A different level or normal will be required of us all as we work out how to plan for these natural disasters, some of which, like Matthew, won’t follow normal or expected patterns.”
Among the items being donated are crates of porridge mixes, corned beef, sausages, mackerel, cheese, beans, juices and water products.
GraceKennedy staff are also planning to collect items of clothing and other essentials to send to Haiti through FFP Jamaica.
‘Needs Very Vast’
David Mair, executive director for FFP Jamaica, said the needs are so vast that all contributions are welcomed.
“We are touched by GraceKennedy’s response and thank the staff and leadership for this donation. This will help meet the very vast needs that are coming to our attention. While we are aware of the number of lives lost and have seen images of the damage, a full assessment is yet to be made, and so the loss of lives and damage are likely to be so much greater. We continue to be grateful to all Jamaicans who are making every effort to lend a hand at this time,” said Mair.
Other forms of contribution from GraceKennedy’s subsidiaries and partners are also under way.
Hi-Lo Food Stores has set up collection points at its 13 locations and is supporting FFP’s appeal for non-perishable items. All donations will be collected by FFP, which is organising shipment of items to Haiti. FFP’s Haiti office will handle distribution there.