Jamaican recording artist Glacia Robinson traveled with Food For The Poor to Honduras in March to record a music video for her latest album, “Hands of Mercy.” The album will be released on Tuesday, May 7, when Robinson performs a special concert for Food For The Poor Day. Photo/Food For The Poor

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 1, 2024) – Award-winning Jamaican recording artist Glacia Robinson will release her latest album, “Hands of Mercy,” during a special performance Tuesday, May 7, at Food For The Poor’s (FFTP) Coconut Creek headquarters.

Robinson’s concert is one of the biggest highlights of Food For The Poor Day, a daylong celebration of faith, optimism, and the charity’s longstanding commitment to transforming lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The album was produced, recorded, and dedicated to FFTP, a favorite charity of Robinson and her husband and producer Emerson Ally.

Robinson, an inductee in the Caribbean Gospel Music Hall of Fame, said she hopes that everyone who hears her soul-stirring music will be inspired.

“I pray they will be uplifted and encouraged to serve others,” Robinson said. “I hope they continue to carry that light wherever they are and be a blessing. That’s what these songs are all about.”

Robinson’s resume lists songwriter, composer, praise and worship leader and author. Her faith in God is what drives her.

In an interview with FFTP, the multitalented singer said she still has strong ties to her homeland Jamaica, where she is a household name, and to FFTP, which was founded in the United States 42 years ago to help the poor in Jamaica.

Robinson was first introduced to FFTP about 20 years ago when she toured the charity’s old offices in Deerfield Beach, Fla. In 2007, longtime friend Delane Bailey-Herd, FFTP’s Director of Major and Principal Gifts, invited her to sing the National Anthem at the groundbreaking for FFTP’s current offices and warehouse on Lyons Road in Coconut Creek.

“I always tell Glacia that she has captured the sounds and the words of heaven and brought them to the earth for us to be able to enjoy them,” Bailey-Herd said.

It was during that visit that Robinson was inspired to come up with the song, “Hands of Mercy,” which 17 years later became the title of her latest album.

“When you think what Food For The Poor represents, that’s when it just hit me,” Robinson said. “That’s what the title of the album should be.”

In 2020, moved by the overwhelming news of the spread of COVID-19 and wanting to provide hope and comfort, Robinson poured out her heart in one day and wrote the lyrics to a song titled “We Are One.” The song became the theme of FFTP’s annual National Event – We Are One, which Robinson co-hosted in 2021.

FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine asked Robinson if she’d be interested in doing an entire album of songs for the charity.

“Even before he went into the details, I said, ‘Yes,’” Robinson recalled. “To me, that confirmed that if he was asking us to do it, it’s something God would want us to be a part of.”

Robinson immediately began to work on the songs with her husband.

“We started praying about the songs and producing the songs,” Robinson said. “I received them one by one. (Emerson) would get the music at times, like a divine download, and then I’d get the lyrics. It was back and forth between Emerson and I. It’s just such a joy.”

What started as an endeavor to produce about 15 songs turned into 30 tracks.

“This has never been done in the history of Food For The Poor,” Robinson said. “We are both humbled and honored to be a part of this pioneering achievement.”

The two-disc album features Nicollette Mendes on “Free”, Sabina Ebba on “Child of Purpose”, and Ally on “Guitar Prayer.” The photo on the album cover was taken by Hilda Perez, FFTP’s Photo and Media Managing Editor.

“Typically, that’s what we’d do. But somewhere along the process, we said, ‘Why don’t we just give everything away that we have?’” Ally said. “‘Why save this as B-roll when it could be on this album?’”

Raine said he is thrilled with the results.

“Glacia is not only a talented artist but also a cherished friend of Food For The Poor,” Raine said. “Her commitment to our cause is evident in every note of her music, and we are honored to collaborate with her on this meaningful project.”

Robinson said the process of songwriting always begins with prayer.

“Lord, what do you want me to hear?” Robinson said. “I looked at the vision of Food For The Poor and the significance of the work that you do. I keep seeing messages and words of encouragement like hope and dreams. I would just hear these words and hear these melodies, one song at a time.”

Ally said the songs come to them differently.

“For instance, I may just be writing the music, not knowing what it’s going to lead to,” Ally said. “And she’ll hear it and pray and come up with a melody and lyrics to go with it. And then vice versa. She’ll hear a melody and the lyrics and start singing it. And I’ll start building music around it.”

The album includes a variety of languages and musical genres and correlates with the overall mission and vision of FFTP.

One of the album’s songs, “Dayana,” is about a young girl in Haiti who used to live in a tent city of shacks next to a garbage dump where it flooded constantly. Thanks to FFTP’s generous donors, Dayana and her mother were given new hope and a new home.

“I put her life into a song,” Robinson said. “She goes to this rubbish heap to find something to bring back to her family. But at the end of that song, I heard there’s room for you, the table has been spread for you. For all the Dayanas in the world, this is what Food For The Poor represents in changing their lives.”

In March, Robinson and Ally traveled with FFTP to Honduras to record a music video for the album and saw up close for themselves how the charity is working to transform lives.

“It was so moving for me,” Robinson said. “Over the years, you see the photos, you see the videos. And then to be standing in the same locations, looking at the body of work of Food For The Poor and witnessing the transformations was such a humbling thing.”

Robinson and Ally said music is a universal language that brings people together and they witnessed that firsthand in Honduras.

“When the music started playing, shoulders were bumping,” Robinson said. “I don’t know if they knew what we were saying in the songs. But it was moving to look into their eyes and see that they were being uplifted. Music has that healing power. And it’s a gift from God. It’s a blessing to be carriers of that musical message.”

Robinson’s concert on Food For The Poor Day will feature songs from the album. For two of the songs, Robinson will be joined by the Cason Kits Chorus from Cason United Methodist Church in Delray Beach, Fla., and FFTP’s own CRUSE Tones, a band of the charity’s team members.

A reception will precede the album release at 6 p.m., followed by the concert at 7 p.m.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from Robinson’s album will support FFTP programs.

In conjunction with Food For The Poor Day, the charity will launch a food-match campaign to raise awareness about the critical issues of food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition in support of the organization’s commitment to ending hunger.

Every $1 given on Food For The Poor Day, May 7, 2024, will be matched to provide $3 worth of food up to $500,000.

Register for the concert or any Food For The Poor Day activities at foodforthepoor.org/fftpday or make a donation at foodforthepoor.org/fftpday24.

About Glacia Robinson

Dr. Glacia Robinson is a multiple award-winning singer, songwriter, composer, producer, recording artist, recording engineer, an anointed minister of music, praise and worship leader, humanitarian, missionary, mentor and author. She is also a Caribbean Hall of Fame inductee, a recipient of The Gospel Icon Award, from the Government of Jamaica, and the JaRIA Music Federation (The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association), and The Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. Glacia is particularly passionate about giving back, embracing those who have been rejected and dejected by society and their situations. Her gifting has applauded the efforts of many charity organizations through the years. Humanitarians at heart, Glacia and Emerson are happy to partner with their main charity, Food For The Poor through the years.

About Food For The Poor

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 15 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit foodforthepoor.org.


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