On February 8th and 9th, Food For The Poor built Salt Marsh Infant School in Trelawny, Jamaica. Since 2012, Food For The Poor and its donors have built 70 schools across the island.

Food For The Poor Canada and its partner, Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation, had volunteers from Canada, the US and Jamaica working over the course of two days earlier this week to build the newest school. The volunteers had a fantastic time building with the staff and contractors of Food For The Poor Jamaica, along with the following celebrity volunteers:

• Yohan Blake, Jamaican sprinter and gold and silver medallist
• Dwayne De Rosario, international soccer player
• Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals, Jamaican Ska legend
• Sean Paul, international rapper, dancehall and Ragga hip-hop star
• Shaggy, international reggae star and philanthropist
• Warren Weir, Olympic medallist for Jamaica in the 200-meter
• Serena Williams, 21-time Tennis Grand Slam winner and 2015’s Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

The Principal of Salt Marsh Primary and Infant school, Mr. Mervin Sinclair, and teachers, joined in helping build the new school. Principal Sinclair thanked those involved: “Your assistance will make a profound difference in the lives of the children, parents and all the other stakeholders inside and outside of these communities.”

One of the highlights for the children and a few lucky adults was Williams reading Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess. Williams’ voice as the dragon will be forever imprinted in Food For The Poor Canada Executive Director Samantha Mahfood’s memory: “I will always remember the smiles of the children as Ms. Williams growled, ‘Go Away! I love to eat princesses, but I have eaten a whole castle today; come back tomorrow!’”

Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation has built 10 schools with Food For The Poor over the last six years. HHJF has partnered in previous years with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., the Sunwing Foundation and Kisko Products to build some of the schools. This week, Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation partnered with the Serena Williams Fund to build its 11th school.

Watch Yohan Blake and Warren Weir lend a hand to Salt Marsh Infant School.