The food banks are part of bpTT’s initiative to provide $1 million to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations across the country. These funds are being used to establish food banks and to support reputable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs) that are already tackling various social problems “on the ground.” Staff from bpTT have also contributed to the initiative through personal financial contributions.
The Rose Foundation is the implementing partner for the food banks and NGO/CBO support.
The Rose Foundation organized five food banks across Trinidad, with distribution due to take place in Tobago this week. To date, 740 families have received food hampers and, based on the average family size of the recipients, approximately 3,500 people would have been impacted.
Research by the Rose Foundation has provided understanding of how the recipients have been impacted by COVID 19 restrictions and how the social support would benefit them. For example, the majority of recipients – about 40 percent - said that they didn’t have enough money to buy food. About 38 percent said that they had lost their job.
One of the benefits of the initiative was that the Rose Foundation and bpTT were able to support the country’s agricultural sector by purchasing fresh produce and manufactured food products from local farmers and agro-processing facilities to be used in food hampers. Approximately 10,000 pounds of produce were
procured and about half of that was watermelon produced by clients of the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED), a micro-finance institution established by bpTT.
David Ramberan, President of the Mayaro Village Council and in charge of the Mayaro Home for the Aged said: “This food donation will help a lot, especially given the current situation where people from the community that usually support the home are unable to do so because of the stay-at-home orders. Also, to protect the health of our residents, we have currently stopped accepting prepared meals.
The food provided by bpPTT is not only a kind act, but it is a healthy and
substantial package that will see many people through a difficult time. bpTT is demonstrating that when we band together as a
community, we can overcome any challenges.”
Claire Fitzpatrick, regional president of bpTT said: “We established this fund to play our part in the national COVID-19 response and I am proud that we have been able to positively impact so many families. I am also proud of the way in which our staff have supported this initiative. There’s a lot more to do. bpTT and the Rose Foundation will continue to work with NGOs to assist them with their support for those in need.”
Sterling Belgrove, Executive Chairman of the Rose Foundation said: “bpTT and the Rose Foundation have created a synergy that
allows for greater and more meaningful service delivery to meet the needs of our national society in this unprecedented crisis. Families express a sense of security when receiving the food and care packages.”
On Friday (May 29) bpTT and the Rose Foundation began phase
two of the initiative with the disbursement of $48,000 in grants to four NGOs:
· Living Water Community
· Support Autism Trinidad and Tobago
· Carenage Improvement & Empowerment League
· Dass Trace Youth Empowerment Committee
Emphasis is being placed on NGOs and CBOs that provide food, medication and other essential supplies to those who are unable to access the government’s social relief programmes, including the self-employed, single-parent homes, migrants, and residential homes providing shelter for the elderly, disabled or socially displaced.
Representatives from four non-governmental
organisations receive cheques at Friday’s ceremony at the Rose Foundation office.
From left: Alana Sampson, Alana Sampson, Secretary, Dass Trace
Youth Empowerment Committee;
Rosemarie Scott, Assistant Director Living Water Community; Deanna Francis, Chairperson,
Carenage Improvement and Empowerment League, Carenage; Beena Bhawansingh, Director, Support Autism T&T, Claxton
Bay and Sterling Belgrove, Executive Chairman, The Rose Foundation.
Ryan Chaitram, BPTT: +1 1868
Luis Araujo, BPTT: +1 868