Food charities and wholesalers to meet on Tuesday

Food NPOs of St. Maarten met in a workshop formatted hosted by NPOwer and Freegan Food Foundation to address the issue of food sustainability for the needy. 

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — St. Maarten food Non-profit Organizations (NPOs) will meet with major food wholesalers on Tuesday to solidify a sustainable approach to food supplies for the needy of the country. The wholesalers were invited to meet representatives of a number of NPOs that offer food support, after a gathering in a workshop format hosted by NPOwer to hammer-out an approach to providing sustainable food supplies to people in need. A sustainable approach is especially needed, taking into consideration the ending of the largest funded food program financed by the Dutch government, in close collaboration with St. Maarten government and managed by St Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) in collaboration with local NPOs.

These NPOs will put forward their case to wholesalers for a “win/win situation” with more effective bulk purchases, utilizing the charity programs of various international suppliers, and streamlining a more effective purchasing and delivery method suitable for the wholesalers and local NPOs. The two sides need to tap into more community collaboration and creativity to assist St. Maarten most vulnerable persons in the country.

The meeting will be 4:00PM – 5:30PM, in the office of R4CR/Samenwerkende Fondsen on A. Th. Illidge Road 60 (former WIB building next to the ‘Landsrecherche’). NPOwer on behalf of the NPOs and Freegan Food Foundation welcome all food suppliers to this meeting to discuss how creative thinking can lead to more collaboration and action to assist people in need for the months to come. For more information on assisting in food sustainability feel free to contact or or call 581 5050.

This NPOs/Wholesalers meeting is one of six action points established at the workshop held on September 16 to address the need for a sustainable approach to food supply for the needy. Some 17 organizations were represented at the workshop hosted by NPOwer and Freegan Food Foundation’s Director Joost de Jong.

The actions points from the meeting are to create awareness of homegrown and locally available foods, facilitate a mind shift to take advantage of food sources available at the most cost effective price, work with wholesalers and international suppliers to access donations/support, pool funds and resources to make larger bulk purchases, create and monitor an online platform for manages food when in abundance and facilitate organizations working together to utilize items, equipment, facilities such as kitchens, vans, skilled staff (IT) etc. The scarcity of food and future lack of funding in the near future requires rethinking of current practices and relationship between local and international suppliers.

The majority of the organizations that offer food support cater to children via daycares, afternoon school programs and foster homes, senior citizens and families living in poverty. Besides donations by local private persons, charities and food waste donated by food suppliers like supermarkets, income from now on is mostly derived from funding from Samenwerkende Fondsen and Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR).