Left, Rolfe Commissiong, centre, James Landy and right, Pastor Kenneth Manders. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Left, Rolfe Commissiong, centre, James Landy and right, Pastor Kenneth Manders. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9: Businessman and Cabinet Office adviser Rolfe Commissiong has dug into his own pocket to support a church’s drive to help the needy.

Mr Commissiong’s Black Star Communications firm donated $500 to the Hamilton Seventh Day Adventist Church Operation Five Loaves and Two Fish appeal after reading reports that numbers turning up at the church’s food programme had rocketed as the recession hits families.

Church elder James Landy, who launched the appeal last month, said: “We’re very grateful to Mr Commissiong — this appeal is all about people wanting to make a difference and giving what they can.

“To see smaller businesses step up is really great – next month is coming up to Christmas which could be a very tough time for families.

“We couldn’t do what we do without donations from big businesses, small and medium sized ones and individual contributions.”

Mr Commissiong said he had known Mr Landy and church Pastor Kenneth Manders since they were all schoolboys.

He added: “The work they’re doing in this time of growing economic uncertaintly is very commendable.

“I’m pleased to be able to support a programme to help people who, through no fault of their own, to get some of the help they need.

“I’d like to encourage other businesses, not just big ones, to find ways to contribute. We’re seeing growing instances of genuine need.

“The numbers of people using the Seventh Day Adventist programme has grown significantly over the past 18 months and they need all the help they can get.”

When the appeal was launched, major supermarkets like MarketPlace and Arnolds and distribution firms Butterfield & Vallis and BGA all donated crates of tinned food and other items. Members of the public also rallied round and donated food, cash and even soft toys.

The Seventh Day programme, originally set up to feed the homeless – now sees seniors and families with young children who are suffering as a result of the recession.

The number of meals distributed has risen from around 20 to more than 100 as the recession cuts into family incomes.

Anyone who can help the appeal can contact Mr Landy on 534 9600, the church at 292 4276 or at HamiltonSDA@northrock.bm