Jamaica Union & BUC Collaborative Community Outreach

Jamaica Union & BUC Collaborative Community Outreach

Sharon Platt-McDonald BUC Director for Adventist Community Services, Health and Women's Ministries

"Blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor."

Proverbs 22:9 (NLT)

'Giving, Caring, Sharing' is the tagline for a Jamaican Food Bank making an impact. The Jamaica Union Conference (JAMU) endeavours to reduce poverty and hunger on the island through the JAMU Food Bank. We have extended this initiative to the British Union Conference (BUC) Adventist Community Services for our partnership working on this project.

As part of their promotional campaign, they have released a video (which you can view here) detailing the scope of the needs we are trying to address. The facts are startling and draw attention to the desperate need. The video reveals that 400,000 people in Jamaica go hungry every day, 40,000 of which are Adventists.

The challenge

In many countries, the Covid-19 pandemic, the fuel and energy crisis, has exacerbated this humanitarian plight of food insecurity and poverty, brought about by increased joblessness and heightened food prices, which are beyond the reach of ordinary people.

In light of this grave situation, the Jamaica Union Conference has responded by setting up the Food Bank in all of its five Conferences in Jamaica to help alleviate the suffering. However, they now need international assistance, hence the appeal to our BUC to partner with them in this outreach.

You can access an Adventist Review article reporting on the work of JAMU Food Bank via the following link:

Adventist Review - Jamaica Adventist food bank


At a recent BUC Mission Board Meeting, our Adventist Community Services department received authorisation to approach Community Services leaders and church members for donations to assist in a coordinated response to this intervention. Therefore we are making this timely appeal by sharing an article in BUC News on this project.

Donated funds will go via the South England Conference Treasury office under the reference – JAMU Food. The account details are as follows: Account Name: South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, HSBC Bank, Account no: 41144103, Sort Code: 40-45-28. Please help support the JAMU Food Bank with a one-off or monthly standing order love donation.

Additionally, there is a food barrel arrangement for shipment to the JAMU Food Bank, as we set up a process to facilitate this.

We are so grateful that the North England Conference and the South England Conference administrations have also donated financially.

UK Ambassador

Pastor Vince Goddard is helping to spearhead this project as he is a Jamaica Union (JAMU) Food Bank board member and UK ambassador for JAMU.

In an interview with Pastor Goddard, I asked what motivated him to become involved in this initiative:

SPM – Pastor Goddard, you have taken on this project with a lot of enthusiasm. How did you become involved?

VG My paid ministry of 42 years ended when I retired in December 2020. Being an action person, I knew I needed a new challenge. I've always been passionate about helping people in need. So, when my friend Pastor Adrian Cottrell – Jamaica Union Sabbath School, Community Services and Possibility Ministries Director, reached out to me and shared the story of how he gave his lunch to two young, hungry boys in the streets of uptown Kingston, I knew I wanted to join him in doing something to help alleviate the suffering of those in need. When I realised that 400,000 people in Jamaica go to bed hungry daily, 40,000 of which are Adventists, that compelled me to act.

SPM How did the Jamaica Union Food Bank commence, and what are its goals?

VG The Jamaica Union Food Bank initiative began in September 2021, and they invited me to become a board member and a goodwill ambassador for the United Kingdom.

We aim to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus – providing a social safety net for hunger relief across Jamaica. There are two key focal points to this in terms of what we are hoping to achieve, which is:

  1. Enhance nutrition and reduce hunger in needy communities across Jamaica
  2. Help to build resilience in these communities through education in:

  • Improved food preparation
  • Reducing food loss and waste
  • The importance of kitchen gardens in a healthy diet.

SPM How do you see this initiative reflecting Christ's compassion?

VG Giving is a beautiful and blessed way of life. The foundation of our faith is based on giving. "God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Jesus said: "I was hungry and you gave me food" (Matthew 25:35). I feel immensely blessed to be part of the JAMU team, which is seeking to help the most vulnerable in our communities in Jamaica.

I am so encouraged by the many in our churches and people of goodwill who are partnering with JAMU to help this worthy cause through generous donations, sending barrels of food and other assistance. "Little becomes much when we place it in the Master's hand."

For further information contact:

Pastor Vince Goddard (UK representative for JAMU Food Bank). Tel: 07855 677436

Please send your donations to "South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, HSBC Bank, Account no: 41144103, Sort Code: 40-45-28. (Reference - JAMU FOOD)


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