RBC Partners with ADO


Under a broiling sun, a team of 25 RBC volunteers planted rows of baby greens, reaching into an agricultural past to provide for a better tomorrow and transforming a parking area into a churchyard garden with enough fresh produce to assist up to 150 households. The event that took place on June 24 at the Pilgirm Baptist Church, St. James Road, was the first collaboration between the Bahamas’ oldest banking institution, RBC, and the Agricultural Development Organization (ADO).

It also coincided with the National Day of Service – a day when civic organizations, churches and volunteers committed to giving back to the community as a part of the nation’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

“With a generous sponsorship of $50,000, RBC is delighted to assist ADO in funding the development of community greenhouse gardens and providing backyard garden kits to neighborhoods across New Providence and Exuma,” explained RBC Royal Bank (Bahamas) Managing Director LaSonya Missick.

“At RBC, our purpose is to help our clients thrive and our communities prosper. For us, this initiative helps to cultivate a future of self-sufficiency in our country’s food supply. We also see it as empowering our communities and fortifying their relationship with the land that
sustains us.”

Declaring “no garden could ever fully bloom without a dedicated team of growers,” the managing director said, “our goal is to bring the fruits of our labour to as many as 150 households in this community, enabling them to reap the benefits of fresh, home-grown
produce,” she continued.

ADO Executive Chairman Philip Smith thanked RBC. “For 17 years, I helped feed the needy. I saw what hunger could do to people,” said
Smith, who started by sharing loaves of bread he baked in a small home oven. In 2013, he created the Bahamas Feeding Network which has provided more than two million meals.

“The need to feed will always exist,” Smith said, “but if we can grow more of what we eat and eat more of what we grow, not only will we win this battle against hunger, but we will also nurture a healthier population in our nation. I thank RBC for its incredibly generous donation of $50,000 and…volunteerism of the folks who came to this churchyard today in one of Nassau’s most economically challenged communities to help us celebrate the planting of another community farm where we share what we grow and feed our souls and spirits as we do.”

RBC’s Managing Director called the volunteer planting “the beginning of a fruitful partnership. RBC and ADO are committed to working hand in hand on future projects to improve the lives of our citizens and the prosperity of our country. At RBC, our commitment to The Bahamas is unwavering – both now and well into the future. We are eager to grow together with our communities and contribute to a vibrant and thriving Bahamas.”

ADO partners with the Church Commercial Farming Group to provide field mentors to be assigned to every garden, overseeing planting, providing ongoing advice, documenting and reporting progress and helping to ensure the greatest success.