Food for the Poor releases statement - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Food for the Poor releases statement

COCONUT CREEK, FL (Jan. 12, 2010) – An earthquake hit off the coast of Haiti, about 10 miles west from the Caribbean nation's capital of Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Society. The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0.

Currently, Food For The Poor has a group of 12 college students, and two faculty advisors in Haiti on a mission trip. They attend Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Our President/ CEO is in communications with Lynn's President Dr. Kevin Ross, who is gathering information as it comes in from the students' parents. Food For The Poor's Mission Officer in Haiti said the students were dropped off at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince at 4 pm. We have learned there has been some damage to the hotel and are working to ascertain that the students, advisors and our staff are safe.

Food For The Poor has been in contact with several members of the staff currently in Haiti. Employees have reported the following accounts:

-- A hospital has collapsed in Pétionville, a town in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince

-- There appear to be more homes down than standing in several areas of Port-au-Prince

-- Major number of homes down in the area of Delmas

-- One staffer saw a five-story building collapse

-- One employee saw a major bridge, the Croix de Mission, collapse right in front of her as she drove home. The bridge is a major artery to the North end of Haiti from Port-au-Prince.

-- A portion of Food For The Poor's main office in Port-au-Price has collapsed. Our feeding center (Food For the Poor provides food for thousands of Haitians on a daily basis there) and the charity's warehouse are there. We are still gathering information on the extent of the damage.

-- Cell phone communication continues to be limited.

-- Food For the Poor has 2 employees in Santo, Domingo where the shocks were strongly felt. The hotel they were at during the quake asked all guests to stay in the lobby until the shocks subsided.

 Food For The Poor will do everything it can to reach out to the people of Haiti, and will keep updating our Web site as information comes in.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti who are watching this disaster unfold around them. This country seems to take a beating far too often," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "We have been monitoring the situation since it first happened, and we will take immediate steps to offer relief to those suffering from this earthquake."

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information please visit, http://www.foodforthepoor.org/.

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