haiti-flag.gifResponding to Haiti's growing food crisis, Eastern Financial Credit Union has teamed up with Food For The Poor to launch the “Help for Haiti” campaign.

Credit union members and employees are being asked to make donations to Food For The Poor, a Coconut Creek-based relief organization that has been working in Haiti for the past two decades. Food For The Poor currently feeds more than 20,000 Haitians daily at food distribution centers throughout the island. Members of the public are also being asked to join the campaign.

Food For The Poor is the nation's second-largest international relief and development organization, with more than 96 percent of all donations providing food, shelter, medical care, educational materials and other services to 16 Caribbean and Latin American countries.

Donations are being accepted at Eastern Financial Credit Union's 22 South Florida branches throughout the month of May. People making donations are being asked to make contributions in increments of $12, since that amount is enough money to feed an average family for a month, according to Food For The Poor. 

“Many of our members and employees have family and friends on the island and are personally affected by the crisis, which is getting worse by the day,” said Mark Holmes, vice president and marketing director of the Miramar-based credit union. “Because of those close ties and the severity of the situation, we wanted to initiate a program to help out.”

Food For The Poor provides 15,000 cooked meals at food distribution centers throughout the island. The organization also partners with schools, orphanages, churches, hospitals and retirement homes to provide meals.

Food For the Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma, who traveled to Haiti recently, said the island's food crisis is growing progressively worse due to rising fuel costs and global food shortages. Every day, he said, families are standing in long lines waiting for food with guards standing watch.

He said 80 percent of the population lives in dire poverty and struggles to survive on less than $2 a day.

“Haiti has been suffering for many, many years,” Aloma said. “They are a very proud people and they feel ashamed of their poverty. They want a chance to get out of this [crisis]. They deserve that chance.”


What: “Help For Haiti” campaign
When: Throughout the month of May
Where: Checks can be dropped off at any Eastern Financial Credit Union. Make checks out to “Food For The Poor” and include “Dept. 064620.” You can also donate money by logging on to www.foodforthepoor.org/easternfinancial
Contact: For more information about Food For The Poor visit www.foodforthepoor.org or call 954-427-2222.

Here are some other ways to donate food to Haiti on Friday, May 30 in Miami-Dade County. You can drop off food items that day at the following collection centers:

• Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan’s district office, 2780 NW 167th Street, Miami Gardens.
• Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson’s district office, 5400 NW 22nd Ave., Ste 701, Miami.
• Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st St, Miami.
• All Team Metro regional offices, Miami-Dade Police Stations, Miami-Dade Fire Stations and Miami-Dade Public Libraries.

Collection centers in Miami-Dade County will accept non-perishable, non-glass containers of the following items:
•Rice, pasta, noodles, and other  grains
•Bottled water
•Baby food and infant formula
•Canned milk, beans, tuna, fruits, salmon, meat, vegetables, soups or broth.
•Other non-perishable food items

For more information, call 3-1-1 or visit www.miamidade.gov.