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A significant expansion of the existing government Feeding Programme benefiting vulnerable communities island wide has been launched.
The expansion, overseen by the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment, comes via assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The programme addresses the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations in the communities of Gros-Islet, Castries, Dennery, Soufriere, and Vieux Fort.
The expansion is a direct response to the ongoing deleterious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have disproportionately affected the homeless and indigent sub-populations.
“We are really concerned about the dignity, the humanity of our people and we know that when these disasters come upon our population, the vulnerable would be the ones most affected by the impacts of disasters. Whether it be fire, natural, pandemics etc. and what we are speaking about is really post COVID -19. We will continue to roll out additional programs and will be sharing a lot more with you as it relates to people who have been affected by COVID,” exclaimed a very passionate Minister for Equity Hon. Joachim Henry.
The funding, Fifty Thousand Dollars’ worth, will assist approximately 100 beneficiaries by providing them with essential food items.
To ensure effective distribution, the Ministry has purchased food vouchers from local supermarkets. The items will be prepared and distributed by trusted nonprofit agencies, with a track record of feeding the less fortunate.
Permanent Secretary Dr. Charmaine Hippolyte Emmanuel noted, “These individuals who are part of the feeding or rather serving program are reputable persons or groups and they of course can ensure, on their part, that delivery is efficient and timely. Also, we want to ensure that there is equitable sharing in the sense that persons are not disadvantaged.”
Selected agencies are the Vieux Fort Catholic Church, Dennery Soup Kitchen, Soufriere Catholic Church, Kiwanis Club of Amazona St. Lucia, the St. Lucia Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Feed the Poor Ministries, Gros-Islet Catholic Church Soup Kitchen, Gros-Islet Lions Club, the Gros-Islet SDA Church and Feed My Lambs Ministry.
“I want to say a big thank you to the Ministry of Equity in these trying times for ensuring that so many organizations were able to be the beneficiaries of the contributions. I want to say that you all are like a lamp on the hill, to ensure that your light can shine through our dark society,” well known philanthropist Gaspard Henry of Feed the Poor Ministries remarked.
Also commending the government on the expansion of the post COVID-19 feeding programme was Captain of the Salvation Army St. Lucia, Wousdel Louis.
“It is in a world where many face the harsh realities of hunger and depravity, it is heartening to know that we have partners like the Ministry of Equity and Social Justice who recognize the importance of extending a helping hand to those in need. This donation that we received today, is not only the money, but is a symbol of hope, compassion and solidarity. The Salvation Army feeding programme has been a beacon of light for our community, providing nourishment and sustenance to those who would have otherwise gone without.”
The Ministry of Equity expresses gratitude to the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank for their support in enabling the expansion of the Feeding programme.
Additionally, the Ministry commends the selected agencies for their dedication to serving vulnerable populations, in their respective communities.
SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment
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