GraceKennedy Donates $2.5 Million in Supplies to Haiti
Friday, 07 October 2016 00:00
Hurricane ravaged Haiti is to receive a donation of non-perishable food items valued at $2.5 million from GraceKennedy Ltd. 
 
This donation is bound for Haiti through Food For the Poor (FFP) Jamaica which recently made a public appeal following the direct hit from Hurricane Matthew earlier this week. 
 
Don Wehby, Group Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Ltd, said that the Company responded immediately to appeals for help for Haiti after seeing the extent of the destruction which 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,” Mr 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 of 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 expected patterns,” Mr Wehby added.
 
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.
 
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 that a number of lives have been lost and we have seen images of the damage, a full assessment is yet to be made; 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 Mr Mair said.
 
Other forms of contribution from GraceKennedy’s subsidiaries and partners are also underway.  
 
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.
 
Western Union International, for which GraceKennedy Money Services is the authorised dealer in Jamaica, in support of disaster relief efforts has waived fees on all transfers to Haiti, from anywhere in the world for the period October 6 to October 9, 2016. 
 
GraceKennedy has responded to emergency situations in the Caribbean before, including: the assistance of $1.2M in non-perishables to Dominica in 2015 following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika and donation of $2.7 million in cash, along with 6000 cases of canned goods, following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.