The government of Saint Lucia has announced the distribution of fresh produce relief packages.
Over 400 packages were delivered Wednesday in the communities including Gros Islet, Castries North, Castries South and Castries South East.
On Friday, communities in Dennery, Vieux Fort, Choiseul and Anse La Raye-Canaries will be among those to benefit from the distribution.
From April this year the Allen Chastanet administration had implemented a feeding programme in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA).
The programme provided hot meals to needy individuals in the community.
Director of Implementation – Office of the Prime Minister, Nancy Charles, said the initiative has now been taken to a new level.
“What we have recognised is that in some households there’s more than one person who has been impacted by COVID and they need food,” Charles explained.
She said food baskets with ground provisions, fresh fruit, eggs, vegetables and either fish or chicken are being prepared.
“It varies every week,” Charles stated.
She said the basket is expected to feed a family of two or three for at least a week.
“We will be feeding them every week for the next three months. We’ll be having this programme where we deliver food to needy persons within the community,” Charles noted.
She revealed that in order to identify those in need, the Ministry of Equity created an impact assessment form.
“They used their officers to go around the community to fill out the forms, capture the information and based on that they were able to generate a list in collaboration with the poverty list they have and the services they provide,” the government official disclosed.
She announced that the programme will start off distributing one thousand boxes every week throughout the Island, with the intention of growing the initiative as soon as possible once the financial support and consistency of food supply are in place.
Charles asserted that the benefits of the initiative are twofold – supplying food to the needy and supporting Saint Lucian farmers who have lost the hotel sector as a market due to the fallout from the COVID-19 situation.
According to her, each constituency provides a vehicle and works with the Town and Village Council to collect the relief packages and deliver them.