COCONUT CREEK — Taiwan’s first lady Chow Mei-ching and daughter, Lesley Ma, traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday, Aug. 31, to meet with Taiwan’s in-country partner, Food For The Poor. Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of the South Florida-based nonprofit, greeted them while a children’s choir from a Food For The Poor-sponsored orphanage sang welcome songs.
The mother-daughter humanitarian team eagerly rolled up their sleeves in Food For The Poor’s feeding center as they helped serve rice donated from the people of Taiwan to Haiti’s destitute. Carrying pots, bags, and pails the people lined up anxiously at the nonprofit’s feeding center to receive meals of steaming rice and stew for their families. Approximately 15,000 hot meals are cooked and distributed from this one Food For The Poor warehouse and complex, six days a week.
Mahfood thanked Taiwan’s first lady and her daughter for visiting the poor island nation that remains covered in rubble eight months after the devastating earthquake. With more than a million people displaced, there is an ever-increasing number of Haitians who are in desperate need of assistance.
Chow Mei-ching, Taiwan’s first lady, Robin Mahfood, CEO Food For The Poor and Kareen Dolce, Executive Director Food For The Poor – Haiti
“The containers of rice donated to Food For The Poor by the people of Taiwan and Taiwan ICDF are tremendous blessings to millions who would otherwise not have anything to eat,” said Mahfood. “Your selfless gift of presence has given the resilient people of Haiti renewed hope. Mme Ma [first lady Chow Mei-ching] has provided her daughter and the rest of the world with a beautiful example of love.”
Before the end of the year, the Taiwanese have pledged to donate an additional 40 containers of rice to Food For The Poor.
After touring Food For The Poor’s warehouse and complex with Taiwan’s ambassador to Haiti, Bernard Bang-zyh LIU, and Food For The Poor-Haiti’s executive director, Kareen Dolce, the first lady of Taiwan told Mahfood she was happy to be associated with the nonprofit and was impressed with the organization. Discussions also focused on Taiwan ICDF’s recent commitment to invest in the education of Haiti’s youth in partnership with Food For The Poor.
“Through education and technology, we can help families end the generational cycle of poverty,” said Mahfood. “The joint partnership with Taiwan ICDF will outfit schools and orphanages in Haiti with 1,020 computer workstations. It is our prayer that 10,000 children in Haiti will receive instruction on these computers daily.”
Additional joint initiatives with Taiwan ICDF include in-country production of food through agriculture, farm-raised fish and livestock breeding – self-sustainable initiatives that teach people how to earn a living.