Friday 3 July, 2020

Four Primary Schools in Jamaica Trained to Alleviate Food Insecurity

Mission:FoodPossible (M:FP) a hunger charity that has been referred to by Forbes as the potential “solution to the world’s hunger problem,” visited Portland, Jamaica on the occasion of World Food Day to train canteen workers from Buff Bay Primary School, Skibo Primary School, Charles Town Primary School and Bybrook Primary School on the use of indigenous foods to overcome hunger and food insecurity.

During the four-day program, which took place between October 16-19, Founder Peter Ivey and Educational Consultant for Mission:Food Possible, Dr. Trina Lynn Yearwood were able to present to the local community on “Cooking Well with Foods you Know and Love” and “The role of teachers in the fight against food insecurity.”

The lush and food-rich parish of Portland inspired a multitude of indigenous culinary creations among the M:FP trainees.  The “Sunshine Medley AckLooPum”, for example, named and invented by a trainee, consisted entirely of locally-sourced ingredients: Jamaican ackee, callaloo and pumpkin. “This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me,” she said. “I still feel excited about my accomplishment, coming into contact with M:FP and learning from them for a short time but in a vast way.”

Under the leadership of M:FP’s Executive Chef, Patrice Harris-Henry and Founder, Peter Ivey, the M:FP team facilitated two days of rigorous training at Buff Bay Primary School, which culminated with a graduation ceremony that was attended by family members, friends, students, educators and government officials. Successful graduates received certificates of participation and M:FP badges were awarded to seven students in recognition of their roles as ambassadors and overseers of school gardens to be used in the production of nutritional foods for school meal programs. Guests sampled delicious foods created by the trainees and were entertained by Dub Poet Randy McLaren.

“To train food leaders from four primary schools in one shot and in such an impactful way was a huge success for our team,” said Mission:FoodPossible Founder, Peter Ivey. “Food security is one of the most important issues facing the Caribbean region and the broader the impact, the greater our satisfaction.”

In her remarks, Ms. McKenzie from the Ministry of Education said, “This innovative program that combines philanthropy, training in food preparation and public education in ways to make the best use of our local fruits and vegetables is certainly in keeping with our thrust to encourage more healthy meal preparations in our schools for students.”

The Mission:FoodPossible team is grateful for the benevolence of Buff Bay Texaco, Mackies Meat Mart, the Jamaican Canadian Association Alberta (Calgary), Change the World Organization, The League of International Chefs Association (TLICA), The Reggae Chefs, Teachers Ready to Educate Advocate and Transform (TREAT), BRESHE and many individual donations that were received in support of the event.

M:FP was set up by The League of International Chefs Association in 2017, and has been making bold moves to train, empower and sustain communities in the fight against hunger and food insecurity. The initiative uses its proprietary Most Valuable Produce (MVP) scoring tool to determine a community's most critical indigenous produce for the alleviation of hunger. This methodology was extremely fitting, given this year’s World Food Day theme: “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for A Zero Hunger World.”

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