COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2013) – UPS is helping to improve the lives of dozens of families in the Dominican Republic with the international relief and development organization Food For The Poor.
The UPS project will provide for the installation of a 12,000 gallon concrete water tank, which will house and pump clean well water for the tiny community of Rancho Nuevo, near Puerto Plata, and the construction of a 3,000 square-feet greenhouse in Batey Antonci, Monte Plata.
Helping families to become self-sustaining by way of agriculture is a key strategy of Food For The Poor. The greenhouse in the farming community of Batey Antonci will produce 2,400 pounds of fruits and vegetables four times a year, providing the community with a year-round supply of nutritious foods and agricultural training. This greenhouse project will be operated by local farmers, which will be a source of employment for many of the town’s residents.
“Food For The Poor began working in the Dominican Republic 13 years ago and is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in the Caribbean country by creating opportunities for people to help themselves,” said Robin Mahfood, President and CEO of Food For The Poor. “It is important to educate those in the farming communities on how to plant, grow and harvest a better crop for a self-sustaining food source, and as a source of income.”
The greenhouse facility also will have a drip irrigation system fed by a water reservoir and underground supply lines, which will be installed by Food For The Poor.
The community of Rancho Nuevo is in dire need of access to potable water. The majority of the residents there are currently getting their drinking water from local springs, a water source that looks clean, but is contaminated with life-threatening bacteria and parasites. Many of the children suffer with diarrhea and a variety of waterborne health problems as a result.
Food For The Poor’s development team has determined it will take 30 days to install the water project. Once the water tank is fully operational, piping installed from the tank will run water lines to as many homes as possible or to a community location, providing clean water with the twist of the faucet.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.