Being the hands and feet of Jesus to assist people in need “is awesome,” leaders say.
Published on: 05-22-2023
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, through its food bank, has embarked on a partnership with a corporate distribution company, Derrimon Trading Ltd. (DTL), to assist them in feeding people in need across the nation.
Food supplies valued at US$35,000 dollars were delivered through the five Adventist Church conferences in western, central, northern, northeastern, and eastern Jamaica for distribution in several communities, April 25-28.
“This is but a start of what we hope to be a great partnership with DTL, as we seek to help in alleviating hunger in our society,” Levi Johnson, chairman of the food bank and executive secretary of the Jamaica Union Conference said. “The plan is to do a distribution of food every three months, and then as we get more contributions and support, we go monthly.”
In addition to the church’s conferences, there was a distribution to Northern Caribbean University and the Portmore Church for the Deaf, which are both operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“The humanitarian mission of the church is one that I am deeply committed to and is embedded in the charitable ministry of Jesus,” Johnson said. “Being His hands and feet is awesome. I am passionate and at the same time humbled to help in the feeding of some of the neediest persons across Jamaica.”
Leroy Dawkins, channel trade manager for DTL, pleaded with other companies to get on board with the feeding program alongside the food bank, during a handing-over exercise at the West Jamaica Conference headquarters in Montego Bay on April 25.
“Derrimon Trading Ltd. is pleased to be partnering with the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Dawkins said. “I would like to implore and encourage other corporate entities to be good corporate citizens and come on board and do likewise, because if one can feed a thousand, two may very well feed ten thousand.”
“The partnership with Derrimon Trading Ltd. comes in the form of [a] special percentage discount given to us on a quarterly basis in line with the planned distribution, which is done quarterly (every three months),” Johnson explained.
Funding for the initiative was also gathered from local church members and church workers, the union, and local and overseas donors who are consistent in their giving, which sustains the food bank, church leaders said.
“We are surrounded by a number of areas of needs,” Glen Samuels, president of the church’s western region, said. “Our conference region exists in the area that was designated the first [Zone of Special Operations] and so we have areas … where the need is always more than the supplies we have.”
Since its initial launch in September 2021, the food bank has impacted more than 100,000 lives through not only food distribution but also gift vouchers and assistive devices to individuals with disabilities.
“We are aware that there are a number of students in our primary, secondary, and tertiary learning institutions who are attending school without having a proper meal for the day, so we plan to provide funding to some of these schools to make provision for lunch daily while school is in session,” Adrian Cotterell, coordinator and secretary of the board of the food bank, said.
“We continue as a conference region to provide not only education for the children of our workers, but more so our commitment is to assist any youngster that comes to us with the need because our ministry is to the community,” Samuels added. “It is one of the most joyful areas of service to provide service to the community. The church prepares itself to minister to broken people as God lends us breath in this region.”
The food bank is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica and seeks to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by sourcing and distributing food to needy people in Jamaica.