Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, announced today that the Ministry was in the process of distributing 3,000 care packages to vulnerable persons throughout Barbados.
The mission, she explained, was to ensure that these persons were not negatively impacted by the 14-day shutdown ordered by Government in response to the public health threat of COVID-19.
Minister Forde stated: “This is a stressful time for all of us, but particularly so for those among us who are vulnerable, many of whom would not have been able to make it out to the supermarkets and shops over the last few days to prepare for this period.
“We have prepared 3,000 care packages which we are distributing to the elderly, the disabled and the impoverished in the community, as identified by our social service agencies.
“This is our small part, but we are relying on the entire community to look out for one another. Look out for your neighbours, your relatives and friends, anyone that needs a helping hand. If you cannot help but know of someone in need, please call our helpline at 536-HOPE (536-4673).”
Minister Forde praised corporate Barbados for its assistance, including Sagicor, whose donation, she said, would allow the Ministry to produce another 500 care packages, and SMJ Beverages, which provided the beverages included in the packages.
She also commended the 50 volunteers who worked throughout the week to put the packages together for distribution, noting that many of those who had received them had sent messages of gratitude.
Minister Forde thanked the faith-based groups and other private organizations for their assistance in helping the Ministry to reach their target groups.
The packages comprise a 14-day supply of basic food and sanitary items.
Recipients were identified through a number of social service agencies, including the National Assistance Board, the National Disabilities Unit, the Barbados Council for the Disabled, the Welfare Department, the Salvation Army, Jabez House and the Prison Fellowship.