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#215: Business people open hearts to feed neighbors (fwd)


Published Sunday, August 8, 1999, in the Miami Herald NORTH MIAMI
 Business people open hearts to feed neighbors

 By HANS MARDY Herald Writer 

 When Marie Jean-Louis left Haiti eight years ago, she thought Miami
residents didn't have to struggle and wait in long lines for food.
 But Jean-Louis was among several Haitians and non-Haitians who lined up
Aug. 1 for the the second of what organizers hope will be a continual
food distribution program for needy. Several dozen people attended the
two-hour food distribution. Every family received four pounds of beans,
five pounds of rice and a liter of oil. ``It's great,'' said Dieudonne
Simplice of Little Haiti. ``It really makes a difference.'' Money for
the food was donated and the program was organized by a group of
 Haitian employees at Tropical Chevrolet, 8880 Biscayne Blvd. They
include Fritz Montinard, Robenson G. Jeannot and Maguy Jean-Louis.
 ``We Haitians are suffering for everything -- jobs, food, clothes and
so on, '' said Jean-Louis, a mother of three from North Miami. ``I left
my homeland because I thought I was in need, but here in the Miami,
things are worse than Haiti. I cannot find a good job. I have kids to
take care of. I'm in need.'' Organizers publicized the food giveaway on
WLQY 1320 AM, a popular Creole language station in Miami. They are
seeking support and donations from residents and other businesses.
 ``We spent our own money from our paychecks to buy food for the
community,'' Montinard said. ``Many in the community do not have
anything to eat. We tried our best to share with them. It's not much but
it can make a difference, even for one day.'' The group plans to
distribute the food the first of every month. Organizers hope
 other Haitian business owners will join in the effort.

 For information on how to help, call Montinard 305-488-5773.