Food For The Poor Canada Executive Director Receives the Harry Jerome Humanitarian Award from the BBPA

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO, June 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On June 11, 2020 Executive Director of Food For The Poor Canada (FFPC) Samantha Mahfood was named the recipient of the Harry Jerome – Humanitarian Award for her work with FFPC over the last 12 years. The 38th Annual Harry Jerome Award winners were announced at a media launch held by the Black Business and Professionals Association (BBPA).

The award was particularly poignant for Ms. Mahfood who grew up in Jamaica where she was confronted daily with poverty. She left and settled in Canada in part because she felt she could not change the inequity in Jamaica.

When her uncle Ferdinand Mahfood started Food For The Poor (FFP), Samantha was 16 and doubted his ability as one man to change things; what she didn’t consider is while one individual cannot change the world, by engaging others to work towards a common goal, so much is possible. Today FFP feeds 800,000 people daily across the Caribbean and Latin America, and has built close to 100,000 homes in the region.

In reflecting on this award, Samantha said:

“I am honoured to be recognized by the BBPA with the Harry Jerome Award for the humanitarian work Food For The Poor Canada has allowed me to be a part of. Our work over the last 12 years has been supported heavily by the Caribbean diaspora in Canada to help raise people of African descent out of poverty in the Caribbean. In Jamaica we have focused on education; Canadians have partnered with us to build 32 schools. In Haiti we focused on housing and building villages with sustainability as part of the work. Today we are able to make a difference, address inequity and improve lives by partnering with philanthropic Canadians, many of African descent.

Through my work with FFPC I have met incredible people, leaders in the Black community in Toronto as well as in the Caribbean. I was so pleased to receive my award, along with the other awardees on the night that Trevor Massey received his Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBPA. Trevor’s work with the organization, Lifelong Leadership Institute, has advanced leadership skills among Canadian youth of Caribbean and Black heritage. I am blessed to count many of the BBPA board, advisory board and founders as friends. The work that the BBPA does is especially important today. Black community leaders are making change in Toronto and across the globe for Black youth, Black professionals and their families, and I thank them for their important work.

There is an opportunity for us to ask how we can support Black lives here and around the world, especially now with the multiple barriers of COVID-19, racism and job loss. FFPC is focusing on food aid in the Caribbean to support those who have been forced into immediate poverty.

As the work of Food For The Poor Canada and the Black Business and Professionals Association show, one person cannot change the world, but working together, incredible things can happen.”

For The Poor Canada
Food For The Poor Canada (FFPC) empowers communities in the Caribbean and Latin America through five areas of programming: food, housing, education, health and livelihood. FFPC responds to urgent needs while building community and social infrastructure. FFPC utilizes the pre-existing infrastructure of local affiliated organizations to better sustain and grow the communities they serve and responds effectively to emergencies and natural disasters when they occur. Over the last 12 years, FFPC and its Canadian donors have built 124 homes and 32 schools, as well as shipped and distributed $32 million worth of food, educational and medical supplies. FFPC is part of the Food For The Poor family of charities; the founding organization in the USA is Food For The Poor, an interdenominational Christian organization that works in 18 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

For interviews or more information, contact:
Samantha Mahfood
Executive Director
(416) 921-4008

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Samantha Mahfood BBPA photo (1)