Monday, 15 May 2017

GIMME SHELTER: Needy J'can families set to benefit from 40 new Food for the Poor houses

FOLLOW THE LEADER: “We had about 3,000 persons taking part this year. It’s definitely bigger than last year,” reports Mahfood, far right.

RED Stripe has committed to building 10. NCB has pledged to do four. The Rotary Club wants to build three, and JPS has indicated that they’ll do two. This year, some 40 houses in total will be built islandwide by Food for the Poor, in partnership with local and international sponsors, at a cost of US$7,200 per house. The charity-based organization’s US-based head office will contribute half of that amount for each house.

The houses, which will benefit needy Jamaican families across the island, will be well-crafted dwelling places, complete with double wooden panelling, sanitation conveniences and solar lighting. It is Food for the Poor’s latest gift to Jamaica, coinciding with the 3rd annual staging of the Food for the Poor Make a Difference 5K Walk/Run, which brought out hundreds of participants to the streets of New Kingston this past Saturday morning.

But according to Food for the Poor Chairman, Andrew Mahfood, the initial target was 100 houses. “The aim is always to do more. What we want to do is get more land to build houses. If we could get more available land from the government, then the number of beneficiaries would increase. But we are optimistic,” Mahfood told us during a post-race interview. 
For the record, he and the organizing committee were beyond pleased by Saturday’s turnout. “We had about 3,000 persons taking part this year. It’s definitely bigger than last year,” he reported. In addition to fitness clubs, societies and individual participants, the 5K Walk/Run drew support from such entities as the NCB Foundation, Grace Kennedy, Berger Paints, and Rainforest Seafood. 

Kingston’s Mayor, Delroy Williams, was on hand to present trophies, medals and gift baskets to the day’s top contenders. On the Men’s side, the 5K Run saw Kemar Leslie (16 mins 57 secs) crossing the finish line ahead of Ryon Chambers (16 mins 59 secs) and Troy Pennington (18 mins 21 secs), who copped second and third place respectively. 

Among the females, Chris-Ann Lewis (20 mins 46 secs), Juliet Dinal (21 mins 34 secs) was second, while Llori Sharpe (21 mins 47 secs) came in third. As for the walkers, Lenworth Hunter (29 mins 39 secs) proved too speedy for nearest competitors Kenardo Phillips (33 mins 5 secs) and Paula Sinclair (33 mins 8 secs).






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