Overseas-based Jamaicans launch food bank in Kingston and St Andrew
A newly formed charity organisation, led by a team of Jamaicans living overseas, has launched a food bank in Kingston and St Andrew to serve the less fortunate.
The organisation and its food bank initiative were launched on Saturday at the Marie Atkins Basic School in the inner-city community of Waterhouse, St Andrew.
Statistics published in The Gleaner a few years ago, which indicated that one in every six Jamaican children is living in poverty, forced Audrey Humes, a Britain-based Jamaican, to launch the Regional Family Food and Resources Limited, which will run the food bank programme called Emergency Food and Support for Local People in Crises.
This initiative serves as an avenue for establishments and individuals engaged in the fight against poverty to make recommendations for those most in need.
Humes, the founding director and chairman, told The Gleaner at the launch, that “you have to be referred by people who are on the frontline fighting poverty, like the Church, pastoral ministers, doctors, schools, and juvenile centres”.
The food bank will have two locations in the Corporate Area and upon being referred, persons will be given a voucher and told where to redeem it for goods.
“They will give you the vouchers and will let the centre know whether you are on low income, a victim of domestic violence, or something. When we receive the vouchers, we will know how much to give them. That depends on the number of family members they have,” Humes said.
US-based board member Allison Keen expressed hope that the programme will spread to the other 13 parishes. She also explained that the aim is not only to feed the people.
“People can’t just walk in and say, I am hungry. The reason for that is because we want to get you out of the situation. Maybe we could have some of them go to HEART. Sometimes they just need some support,” Keen said.