GraceKennedy is committed to contributing to community development in all the countries in which we have a presence. We also encourage our employees to participate actively in activities in the communities in which they live and work.
In the Caribbean and Central America GraceKennedy works closely with NGOs such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, supporting programmes relating to the elderly and indigent as well as hurricane recovery efforts.
Outside the region, we partner with several organizations, sponsoring education on immigration issues and other matters affecting Caribbean nationals in North America and the United Kingdom.
Through two of our Foundations, the GraceKennedy Foundation and the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation, we contribute significantly to secondary and tertiary-level education.
Over the past 25 years, the GraceKennedy Foundation has invested an average of US$23,000 annually in funding scholarships to tertiary level institutions in Jamaica. These include The University of the West Indies, the University of Technology, and the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts.
In 1991, the company established the S. Carlton Alexander Chair in Management Studies; and in 1992, the James Seivright Moss-Solomon Chair in Environmental Management, both at The University of the West Indies Mona Campus. The Chairs are maintained at a cost of US$418,000 each annually.
GraceKennedy also supports education through the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation, a Foundation established by the company’s staff to support development in low income communities adjacent to our locations in Jamaica.
This Foundation pioneered a homework programme which has served as a model for other companies and NGOs in Jamaica. This programme continues to provide services to nearly 200 students attending high schools in the Kingston and St. Andrew metropolitan region.
In Belize we are involved in school feeding programmes, as well as a business education programme under which the company seeks to sensitize students at all levels about business issues.
GraceKennedy has a history of involvement with local sporting associations based on our perception of organized sports as one of the greatest vehicles for promoting fair play, discipline and a drive for excellence among youth.
GraceKennedy is the title sponsor of Jamaica’s annual Boys and Girls Athletic Championships managed by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA). The event is the biggest school boy and girl athletics championship in the Caribbean and is the foundation from which Jamaica’s future athletic stars emerge. This event is co-sponsored by GraceKennedy Limited and Grace Foods & Services Company, Jamaica International Insurance Company (JIIC), Western Union, and the First Global Group.
GraceKennedy is a longstanding supporter of schoolboy cricket. In Jamaica, we are major sponsors of the Grace Shield and Grace Headley Cup cricket competitions, both of which are managed by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) in collaboration with our financial services companies.
Our subsidiary, GraceKennedy Money Services, partners with local leagues and associations across Jamaica to sponsor basketball and soccer under the Western Union brand. Another subsidiary, Dairy Industries (Ja.) Ltd., is also a long-time sponsor of local soccer.
All our companies have adopted favourite charities, for which employees undertake fundraising activities. A major fundraiser is the First Global Vision Award hosted annually by our subsidiaries First Global Bank and First Global Financial Services Limited. The award seeks to recognize ordinary women from any sector within the society who have made an impact in their communities and the wider Jamaican society. Proceeds from this event are donated to charities designated by the finalists.
Several of our companies initiate local beautification projects including the establishment of play areas for young children. The Jamaica International Insurance Company (JIIC) and GraceKennedy Belize are two of our companies that invest heavily in beautification projects.