Events like Love Poetry and Song (LPS) continue to bring awareness and support to the HIV Food Bank and to HIV and AIDS.
This view was expressed by Manager of the HIV Food Bank, Stacia Whittaker, during a brief ceremony in which the proceeds from the February 14 charity concert, held at Charles Fort, Hilton Barbados, were presented to the Food Bank.
The event raised some $26,602.35, along with food and personal care items for that organisation, as well as the Family Care Support Group.
Ms. Whittaker thanked the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) for hosting the event, which not only generated revenue for the Food Bank but also kept HIV awareness in the minds of Barbadians.
???It is only through the kind and generous gestures of agencies like yours and all those involved in making the LPS event a success that the HIV Food Bank can continue to provide food to those infected and affected by HIV through our food assistance programme.
???Daily we see people coming for food assistance. Therefore, please note you are making a difference! The food received will go towards making an immediate difference in the lives of individuals and families living with HIV and the funds will help with the purchasing of food items when our food supply is low,??? she stated.
The Food Bank Manager added that her agency also sought to provide hope for persons still stigmatised and discriminated against.
???In these efforts, we hope to change the minds of those who are unkind to persons living with HIV through our continued advocacy. It is our hope that the LPS event will continue for years to come as we work towards bringing food and nutrition to persons living with HIV, and zero discrimination to a reality,??? she asserted.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Family Care Support Group, Judy Arthur, also thanked the BGIS, the artistes, the Barbadian public and everyone involved in LPS for assisting her organisation.
???We assure you that the funds received from the event will assist us in our ongoing educational programmes, such as the Bringing up Grades after-school programmes; our back-to-school ventures; and our yearly summer camp for children affected by HIV,??? she said.
Acting Chief Information Officer of the BGIS, Sharon Lynch, explained that assisting the HIV Food Bank had been a part of her department???s community outreach operations for almost a decade, first, with an ongoing in-house recycling drive, and for the last four years, the LPS charity concert.
???We at the BGIS believe in being our brother???s keeper, and these difficult economic times have underscored the importance of helping others. While Government is doing everything possible to assist the vulnerable in society, we recognise we have a corporate responsibility to assist and guide the process, so that others who want to contribute to such a worthy cause can do so,??? she stated.
Ms. Lynch thanked the artistes, the staff of the BGIS and the public for their continued support of the event.