May 17, 2023 | Mount Salem, St. James | Nigel Coke and IAD Staff

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica through its Food Bank has embarked on a partnership with a corporate distribution company, Derrimon Trading Ltd. (DTL), to assist them in feeding persons in need across the nation.

Food supplies valued at $35,000 US dollars were delivered through the five church regions in the West, Central, North, North East and East Jamaica for distribution for various communities, Apr. 25-28, 2023.

Pastor Everett Brown (left), president of the Adventist Church in Jamaica, presents a Select Grocers bag with a sample of the food products to be distributed throughout the church’s western region to Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the church in the West Jamaica Conference during a presentation on Apr. 25, 2023. Mr. Leroy Dawkins (back left), Channel Trade Manager, Derrimon Trading Ltd., and Pastor Vincent Rose, executive secretary of the conference look on. [Photo: Nigel Coke/IAD]

“This is but a start of what we hope to be a great partnership with DTL, as we seek to help in alleviating hunger in our society,” said Pastor Levi Johnson, chairman of The Food Bank and executive secretary of the Jamaica. “The plan is to do a distribution of food every three months and then as we get more contributions and support, we go monthly.”

In addition to the church’s regions, there was a distribution to Northern Caribbean University (NCU) and the Portmore Church for the Deaf, which are both operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well.

“The humanitarian mission of the Church is one that I am deeply committed to and is embedded in the charitable ministry of Jesus,” said Johnson.  “Being His hands and feet is awesome. I am passionate and at the same time humbled to help in the feeding of some of the most needy persons across Jamaica.”

Leroy Dawkins, Channel Trade Manager for DTL pleaded other companies during a handing over exercise at the West Jamaica Conference headquarters in Montego Bay on Apr. 25, to get on board the feeding program with The Food Bank.

L-R: Pastor Adrian Cotterell, Director of the The Food Bank, Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, Mr. Leroy Dawkins, Channel Trade Manager, Derrimon Trading Ltd, Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s western region and Pastor Levi Johnson, Chairman of the Food Bank stand behind samples of the products purchased through DTL brand, Select Grocers during a presentation exercise on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at the headquarters of the West Jamaica Conference. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

“Derrimon Trading Ltd. is pleased to be partnering with the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” said Dawkins. “I would like to implore and encourage other corporate entities to be good corporate citizens and come on board and do likewise because if one can feed a thousand, two may very well feed ten thousand.”

“The partnership with Derrimon Trading Ltd. comes in the form of special percentage discount given to us on a quarterly basis in line with the planned distribution which is done quarterly (every three months),” explained Johnson.

Funding for the initiative was also garnered from local church members and church workers, the union and local and overseas donors, who are consistent in their giving, which sustains The Food Bank, church leaders said.

“We are surrounded by a number of areas of needs,” said Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the church’s western region. Our conference region exists in the area that was designated the first ZOSO and so, we have Granville, Flankers, Norwood, Rose Heights, areas such as Railway Lane and Canterbury and sections of Glendevon, where the need is always more than the supplies we have.”

Group of church leaders present the partnership between the church’s Food Bank and  the Derrimon Trading Ltd. (DTL) ti assist in feeding persons in need throughout Jamaica. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

Since its initial launch in September 2021, The Food Bank has impacted more than 100,000 lives, not only through food distribution but gift vouchers and assistive devices to individuals with disability.

“We are aware that there are a number of students in our primary, secondary and tertiary learning institutions who are attending school without having a proper meal for the day, so we plan to provide funding to some of these schools to make provision for lunch daily, while school is session,” said Pastor Adrian Cotterell, coordinator and secretary of the board of The Food Bank.

“We continue as a conference region to provide not only education for the children of our workers, but more so our commitment is to assist any youngster that comes to us with the need because our ministry is to the community,” added Samuels. “It is one of the most joyful areas of service to provide service to the community. The church prepares itself to minister to broken people as God lends us breath in this region.

The Food Bank is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica and extends the compassionate ministry of Jesus by sourcing and distributing food to needy persons in Jamaica.

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