BROOKLYN PARK, Minn., February 18, 2015: The Minnesota African Task Force Against Ebola (MATFAE) will launch a food drive for Ebola orphans and neglected children in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, on Saturday Feb. 21, at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center
5600 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, Minn.
The public event, designed as a first step in a sustained campaign to help address hunger and food insecurity in the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak, will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Even as a united world races to contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa, life-threatening hunger and chronic food insecurity are beginning to devastate the lives of vulnerable people, especially poor families, orphans, neglected children, and seniors,” said Robena Lewis-Vincent, project coordinator of the food drive. “Unless the African Diaspora plays its part, so many vulnerable lives will be expose to serious life-threatening crises beyond our worse fears.”
MATFAE is appealing to the public to bring non-perishable food items to share with those whose lives have been negatively impacted by Ebola in West Africa. At the completion of the drive, MATFAE will ship food supplies to reputable organizations already working in West Africa to address hunger and the devastations of Ebola.
The World Bank has estimated that almost a million people in the three affected countries are facing increasing hunger and acute food shortages, made all the worse by an uncontrollable soaring food prices. Since agriculture, especially farming, is the economic mainstay of those countries, the impact of Ebola only deepened an already worsening food crisis in areas ill-prepared to absorb the shock.
Beyond agriculture, the effects of Ebola include the closure of markets, the restriction on people’s movements, the reduction in the exchange of goods and services, and the crippling setbacks to efforts at reducing sky-rocketing unemployment rates.
About the Minnesota African Task Force Against Ebola (MATFAE)
MATFAE is a coordinated community response to the impact of the Ebola epidemics. MATFAE comprises the community leaderships of the West African communities, especially Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. It also includes community-based African non-profit organizations, including African Immigrant Services (AIS) & African Career Education & Resource, Inc. (ACER), faith-based groups, stakeholders, representatives of public institutions (Cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Dept. of Health, Hennepin County Public Health), among others.
Robena Lewis-Vincent Abdullah Kiatamba Isaac Owens
Project Coordinator Chair, MATFAE Asst. Coordinator
660-687-9016 612-388-4767 612-323-8834