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Five Months, 50 Homes, 50 Families

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 27, 2012) – Fifty families have moved into secure homes in Olivier, Deuxieme Plaine, Haiti, just weeks before the hurricane season traditionally heats up in the Caribbean. These permanent homes were built from funds raised in February at the Building Hope Gala in Boca Raton, Fla. Construction on the homes and community center started in March, and all of the families were moved to safety by mid-July.

“The appalling conditions that we have found so many children and their families living in throughout the Caribbean and Latin America are unimaginable,” said Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor's President/CEO. “Without safe, permanent shelter the destitute are often wet and cold when it rains, and live in fear of landslides sweeping them into the sea.”

For more than 30 years, Food For The Poor has worked to bring relief to poor families, caring for their basic needs, and giving them a chance to live and work again. In addition to building the 50 two-room homes and community center in Olivier, chicken and cattle rearing projects have also been implemented with money raised at the gala.

“I can’t believe people have to live like this, it really breaks my heart,” said committee member Becky Carlsson, as she described the inhumane conditions she witnessed in Haiti. “They are not really houses, they are little one-room shacks of metal and tin that families live in.”

The 2012 committee chairs included Cathy and Abdol Moabery (Event Co-Chairpersons), Ronda and David Gluck (Event Co-Chairpersons), and Rene and Francis Mahfood (Honorary Chairpersons).

The 18th annual gala will be Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at The Polo Club of Boca Raton. For additional information regarding the Building Hope Gala, benefactor levels, and tickets, available at $250 per person, please call 1-888-404-4248 or visit

Attendees will be invited to create a legacy by pledging to build critically needed houses in Jamaica during the charity’s “live house rally.” There are pockets of immense poverty throughout Jamaica, but because the country relies heavily on tourism, the harsh reality of destitution often is concealed.

“With the support of Food For The Poor’s donors and committees such as this, we have been able to raise enough funds to build 10 homes a day, seven days a week in the countries we serve,” said Mahfood. “Each home has two rooms, plus a toilet and a shower, and a porch for cooking. They are 'a shelter from the raging wind and the storm.' ” (Psalm 55:8).

Since the earthquake, Food For The Poor has built 3,261 two-room homes in Haiti.

Committee members for the 2013 Building Hope Gala include Laurie Braden, Kelly Brauner, Becky Carlsson, Melissa Davimos, Ronda Ellis Ged, Ronda Gluck, Michele Greene, LaMae Klos, Robin Ranzal Knowles, Julie Mahfood, Rene Mahfood, Pamela Matsil, Cathy Moabery, Jill Perea, Tashia Rahl, Lauren Roberts, Kara Seelye, Natasha Singh, Renee Stetler, Holly Strogoff, Allison Venditti, Patricia Wallace, and Traci Wilson.

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 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.

For more information, please visit