Nassau, Bahamas, September 21, 2016 – For 60 single moms with little or no support and young ones to feed, relief came today during a presentation by the Bahamas Feeding Network, thanks to support from AML Foods Limited. The women – each personally selected as deserving by their churches or community leaders – were gifted with vouchers for staples, produce and foodstuffs and told to go on a shopping spree for the healthiest foods they could find to help make hunger a memory.
“When we launched the Bahamas Feeding Network nearly three years ago, we knew that hunger affected one in every eight people in The Bahamas who live below the poverty level, but it was not until we reached out on a daily basis partnering with churches, helping in soup kitchens, plating food in feeding centres, that we fully understood the desperation,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the non-government organization.
“And of all the people we help feed – the indigent, the elderly who are often too proud to admit they are hungry, those who have fallen through the spaces of a safety net – there was no group that needed help more than single mothers. So on this day, we want to recognize their struggle and make life a little bit easier for them by distributing these $100 food coupons to 60 women, each of whom has multiple children and must find a way to support and feed them without a spouse who could share the burden.”
“We at AML Foods Limited feel strongly about hunger prevention and healthy living,” said Renea Bastian, Vice President of Marketing & Communications of AML. “As a company we want to help to ensure that more people have access to the foods they need. We envision a day when no individual has to wonder where his or her next meal will come from and that’s why we have pledged to donate $100,000 to the Bahamas Feeding Network, over the next three years. To date we have donated some $30,000. In these tough economic times when most organizations have had to cut back on assisting in order to survive, we consider it our responsibility to step in and help the less fortunate in the communities that we operate in. We will be making a similar donation in Freeport tomorrow.”
The donation was the latest in a necklace of golden gifts from the organisation that has raised and donated more than $350,000 in food coupons and foodstuff. “While we are giving, we are also teaching people to grow,” said diplomat, businessman and philanthropist Frank Crothers, Bahamas Feeding Network Chairman. “We are very excited about our backyard farming initiatives and are working closely with the Department of Agriculture.”
Small scale farming, he said, has the potential to alleviate much of the hunger that currently plagues The Bahamas and particularly New Providence. When implemented in schools, it could make the difference between success and failure for students too hungry to focus on absorbing what is being taught. The Network has also held a best practices seminar with an international expert and is in the process of compiling an audit and inventory of feeding programs, hot and cold, and those who depend upon them.
“We are giving these coupons to the moms who have so many responsibilities and far too often, too little support, but while the coupons are going to the mothers, we know that the end result will be fewer children going to bed hungry over the next several weeks,” said Smith. “It is for them that BFN and AML came together to support this important initiative.”
“Thank God for this voucher because I didn’t have anything to eat at the moment,” said a mother of four who headed into Solomon’s Super Centre to purchase groceries for her family. “I am very grateful to the Network and AML Foods.”