Help supply nutritious bananas to thousands of children and adults in the Southern Philippines!
The Southern Philippines is a major exporter of bananas. Each week, container vans are packed with bananas for export. There are always some surplus boxes of bananas and some boxes that are rejected for size (too big or too small) or lack the desired number of "fingers" per bunch. The exporters are willing to donate these undamaged and unripened bananas, free of charge, if they are picked up at their packing houses.
Not wanting to see all of these bananas to go to waste, Seeds of Dignity Ministries stepped in to distribute bananas to local organizations that need it most. Bananas are a healthy, vitamin-rich fruit which is a staple to the Filipino diet. Seeds of Dignity Ministries essentially serves as a "bridge" organization to collect the bananas, in quantity, and deliver them to over 30 carefully selected organizations. These 30 programs provide regular meals to children—usually to those who are attending schools and lack sufficient food for normal development. Some impoverished adults are fed as well. By picking up loads up bananas in bulk, costs are greatly lessened and the impact on the local community is incredible.
You can help. For only $15, you can help give a pound of bananas to 1,200 people for one week!
Update from the Field
Donors like you helped pay for fuel and drivers on the days in which bananas are available. When supply has been steady, banana distributions have averaged around 1.5 pounds of bananas per week per recipient. Thats arpproximately 2,000 pounds of bananas spread over about 1,300 children each week. One of the recipients of these bananas is the community of Sakadab. Sakadab is a community of 27 people who have physical challenges that require them to use a wheelchair for mobility. Pictured below is one of the Sakadab residents receiving bananas!
Recently, donors like you helped pick up and distribute 15,000 pounds of bananas in a six week period.
Seeds of Dignity continues to expand their free banana distributions to several groups in the Philippines. Peter Cowles, Founder and President of Seeds of Dignity Ministries, has been on the ground helping to distribute bananas throughout the Philippine islands. Here is a message from Peter highlighting their most recent banana distribution:
By having this grant, we are able to provide the bananas free of charge to orphanages, school feeding programs, youth and surgery centers, and religious organizations doing charity work such as the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa Group).
At the Davao School for the Blind, the students receive a free education. Most are from very impoverished backgrounds. Food comes from local donors. Seeds of Dignity Ministries is committed to providing fruits and vegetables for the 50+ children who live onsite, 10 months of the year. Approximately 100-125 pounds of bananas are given to the school each week, for an average of two pounds of bananas per student. As the school lacks funds to buy bananas, having a donation such as this is very important to the health of the children.
We also are able to provide bananas for the House of Hope Cancer Center in Davao City. This is the regional cancer center for the island of Mindanao and is supported by St. Luke Hospital and other organizations. Families stay at the House of Hope while their children are undergoing long-term treatment for cancer. Lodging is free of charge as is most of the medical care. Food, however, is only provided by local donors, such as Seeds of Dignity. An average of 20 families stays at the center each week. By providing bananas to the families, they are able to have added nutrients for their diets, which is especially important for the children who are undergoing cancer treatments.>
Seeds of Dignity works strategically with ministry partners to help the less fortunate Filipino people, especially women and children, who are living in impoverished or disadvantaged circumstances, to break free of the long-term bondage of poverty.
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