Hello! My name is Peter Ivey, and I am proud to be the founder of The League of International Chefs Association and Mission:FoodPossible (M:FP), the leading food security organization in Jamaica. Over the past 6 years, we have been working hard to eradicate hunger and food insecurity in our island home. This year we are in the parish of Manchester and we need your help to train the canteen staff of 5 primary schools in Manchester to cook creative, healthy, low-cost meals with our local indigenous crops.
Please read more about our work below!
Data from a recent report by the United Nations indicated that approximately 2.37 billion people worldwide are without food or unable to eat a healthy balanced diet on a regular basis. From 2019-2020, the number of people suffering from hunger in the Latin American and Caribbean Region increased by 13.8 million. According to Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, “COVID-19 has made a pre-existing malnutrition crisis worse. With services disrupted and livelihoods devastated, families are finding it harder to put healthy food on the table…for children to grow up healthy, we need to ensure all families access to affordable, nutritious food.” Although the pandemic has exacerbated the situation, hunger has been on the rise since 2014 with an almost 79 percent hike in the number of people facing food insecurity. In response to those statistics, Mission:FoodPossible (M:FP) designed a community program to combat global hunger, promote food security and reduce food waste.
Mission:FoodPossible | Training
Mission:FoodPossible is a recognized Jamaican charity dedicated to the eradication of hunger and food insecurity. For the past six years, our comprehensive two-day training has trained, empowered, and sustained the community by utilizing our Most Valuable Produce (MVP) scoring tool to assess a region’s produce to best support food security. The first day focuses on theory—thoughts and ideas about food insecurity, hunger, access to nutritious food, identifying a community’s MVPs, and recipe creation. The second day focuses on practice—the application of what participants learned including, knife skills, various cooking techniques, and utilizing MVPs in creative dishes. All participants who complete the training receive certificates of achievement. Because M:FP is grounded in utilizing local produce, farmers, chefs, and local markets all play an integral role in the program’s success.
Mission:FoodPossible | Why Jamaica?
In the Caribbean, severe food insecurity was highest in Haiti followed by Jamaica. In a 2017 study, Smith and colleagues asserted that there is a need to shift focus from short-term efforts to long-term efforts with very targeted interventions. They argued that the key policies to address food insecurity in the region “…are to expand programs for vulnerable individuals [and] invest in the education and skills of the food insecure…” Given the M:FP team’s Jamaican roots and access to Jamaica, the decision was made to launch M:FP in one parish and, after evaluation, determine how the project could be scaled up and utilized in other parishes across the island and, ultimately, the region. All trainings have been held in October to commemorate World Food Day and M:FP’s commitment to ensuring food security. In 2019, Forbes Magazine said Mission:FoodPossible might be the answer to the world’s hunger crisis. Read article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daphneewingchow/2019/06/25/mfp/?sh=48bba6e92c05
Mission:FoodPossible | Impact
Since our inception, we have partnered with ten schools and trained over 55 canteen staff, teachers and parents. Because of M:FP’s educational component, community participants have learned about the importance of food security in Jamaica and the Caribbean region, have benefited from our innovative program, and/or eaten creative dishes using indigenous foods. Some community members have utilized the education provided to maximize the use of local produce to reduce food insecurity. In subsequent conversations with St. John’s Primary School personnel, we learned that canteen staff utilized cooking techniques learned in the training, which extended the life of some of the foods they cooked with. It was also reported that the attendance and academic performance of students who participated in the school meal programme improved. Although the global pandemic halted our in-person training, we remained committed to our mission and hosted virtual and other types of programming. Through our in-person and/or virtual programming participation, we have positively impacted over 11,000 people; an international virtual food security “relay” that we participated in garnered over 2 million views.
Mission:FoodPossible | World Food Day 2023
Given the disastrous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, M:FP plans to host Healing Our Community, Leaving No One Behind—a 3 day in-person commemoration of World Food Day focused on healing our community. Community healing calls for a restructuring of our priorities, resources, and investment to enrich the conditions that create wellness and health in communities of color. With M:FP’s focus on agriculture and eating what we grow, we are hosting our 2023 training and community program in Manchester because of its agricultural output, history and lush vegetation. As done in the past, we are partnering with primary schools in the Manchester area. The training and community program will take place October 12th, 2023-October 14th, 2023.
Thank you for accepting the Mission!