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#3458: Food For The Poor's Operations In Haiti Are Largely Unaffected... (fwd)


Thursday May 4, 6:59 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release SOURCE: Food For The Poor

Food For The Poor's Operations In Haiti Are Largely Unaffected By The
Turmoil Surrounding The Country's Coming Elections

Aid Organization Operates Successfully In Haiti For 18 Years Despite The
Country'sPolitical Instability

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Government-sponsored aid
programs are often weakened by politically contentious events like the
coming Haitian elections, but Food For The Poor uses a system of aid
that bypasses political turmoil.The organization is working through
churches and church-based aid programs to ensure its relief activities
are not affected by the continuing political unrest in Haiti.``The
current unrest in Haiti should not effect our operations,'' Ferdinand
Mahfood, founder and president of FFP,said. ``We bypass politics and
work directly with those who serve the poor. The people we serve are not
concerned about politics. They are concerned about finding shelter and
food.''The 1993 blockade of the island nation by the United States Navy
is the only political event that prevented FFP from helping Haiti's
``We have been in Haiti almost 18 years,'' Mahfood said. ``We have been
through several changes in government and an invasion by the United
States during this time. By avoiding politics, we've managed to expand
during all this instability.''Since its founding in 1982, Food For The
Poor has shipped more than $93 million worth of aid to Haiti. FFP runs
orphanages, schools, medical facilities, feeding programs and other
community facilities throughout the country.Aid delivery is organized
around the churches and the communities they serve. First, Food For The
Poor takes aid requests from the pastor, priest, nun or lay leaders
helping the poor. Then, it either buys the needed items on the
world market or gets them through in-kind donations. Once the items have
been obtained, FFP coordinates thedelivery of the supplies.``Besides
keeping us free of local political swings, our system helps ensure the
quickest delivery of needed aid,''Mahfood said.FFP's operating technique
helped it maintain a 9.9 percent average administrative overhead for
1999 -- ensuringmore than 90 percent of funds raised go directly its aid

Please call (954) 426-6530 for more information or FFP contacts in