A Jamaican restaurateur whose philanthropic efforts have warmed the stomachs of the homeless in Florida is on the verge of losing her business because of spiraling overheads and low revenues caused by coronavirus containment measures.
Millicent Jervis, owner of Caribbean Soul Food Heaven, a Jamaican restaurant in Florida, has been feeding the needy for the last 10 months.
Weeks-long COVID-19 restrictions have kept all of her customers locked away at home, said Jervis, who is struggling to keep her business afloat. Her landlord has advised that she will have to leave soon because of her struggles in finding the rent, she said.
That’s why the 54-year-old has launched a GoFundMe account to keep her business and philanthropic efforts going (https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-save-divine-caribbean-soul-food-heaven?u…).
“Business-wise, I am not good, it has been really bad since COVID-19. … I will have to leave here by the end of the month, which is just about this week,” she told The Gleaner yesterday.
However, although she is losing her business and facing grave financial strain, the quinquagenarian said that she is determined to continue helping the hungry.
Just last Sunday, Jervis, who hails from St Elizabeth, said that she fed 25 Jamaicans who have been stranded in Florida because of the closure of the island’s borders to incoming passengers.
“I love people, and when I hear about people that are in need, I am ready to help. … I love to feed people. Even now, I am still helping people,” said Jervis.
“I think giving is a part of me; that is how I was born. I love to give, because I don’t like to hear people say they are hungry.”
Having owned her restaurant for less than a year, she said that business kicked off great but began plummeting when a partnership collapsed.
Jervis has pledged to continue her charity by cooking in her backyard to deliver to customers until she can finding a cheaper restaurant space.