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Bahamas Feeding Network volunteers go on retreat

  • Bahamas Feeding Network volunteers head out to Eleuthera for a well-deserved four-day, three-night retreat. PHOTO: BAHAMAS FEEDING NETWORK

Published: Jul 15, 2017

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Recina “Scully” Ferguson taught primary school for 18 years, tutored for GLAT (Grade Level Assessment Test) exams, raised seven stepchildren and two of her own, looked after others in her community, and was always the one there for everyone else, but nothing touched her the way her most recent mission has — feeding the hungry.

“The Feeding Network, Mosseff House, is my heart,” says Ferguson.

She is a volunteer with the Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN). For nearly three years she has managed the preparation and distribution of food to more than 2000 people per week. She is part of a team that toils every week at Moseff House on Fox Hill Road. They clean, prepare and cook hundreds of pounds of chicken, cook pots of peas ‘n rice, wash tons of salad greens, and package enough coleslaw and condiments to equip an army.

In late May she was one of 36 volunteers from the BFN to be treated to a retreat. The four-day, three-night stay in Eleuthera allowed the volunteers to totally relax as well as bond with one another.

“These volunteers are the backbone of the Bahamas Feeding Network,” said the NGO’s Executive Director Philip Smith. “They work so hard out of the goodness of their heart and we wanted to reward them. At the same time the retreat served to reinforce their commitment and to allow them to get to know one another better. They also used the time to brainstorm about how to expand and improve on the important work the Feeding Network is doing.”

Founded in 2013 as the brainchild of patron Ambassador H.E. Frank Crothers, BFN has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in food and food vouchers to 110 soup kitchens, feeding centers and churches that provide food for the needy. The network has also hosted best practice workshops and is working with officials to determine the best way forward for growing food.

“There is so much hunger in this rich nation that it breaks your heart, but when you see the smiles on people’s faces as they plate and pass the food and those who receive the food, you understand that the reward for giving and the reward for receiving are not so different after all. For many of the people who get food from the feeding centers we help support — whether it is Great Commission Ministries, Mosseff House or a church in a small settlement in Andros or Eleuthera, this may be all that stands between one having food and hunger.”

Hunger has often been called the hidden shame. Government statistics show that one out of every seven and a half people live below the poverty level, pegged at $11.64 a day.

“In addition to our amazing volunteers, we are supported by a very strong board,” said Smith. “Feeding the hungry is a cause that has quietly captured the hearts of many, including our great partners who contribute. Our hope is that one day the pain of hunger will be little more than a memory in The Bahamas, but that will take all of us pulling together.”

Felix Stubbs is the BFN chairman. Shayne Davis, Lester Ferguson, Sean Moree, Patricia Hermanns, Anthony Myers, Reverend Timothy Stewart, Elaine Pinder, Robin Symonette, Peter Whitehead, H.E. Frank Crothers and Phillip Smith are directors. In creating the BFN, Crothers, ambassador of the Order of Rhodes & Malta, designed a structure that would cover all administrative costs so every donation goes directly to fight hunger.




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