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KSAMC looking to plug food gap for homeless

Published:Wednesday | April 14, 2021 | 5:46 AM

With a clear gap between the number of meals being dished out daily and the homeless in Kingston and St Andrew, Mayor Delroy Williams said the municipal corporation was looking to ramp up numbers.

Speaking at the corporation’s monthly meeting at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Tuesday, hours before Holness announced that the weekend lockdowns would continue, the mayor said he would attend to complaints of neglect.

“The programme was expanded a few months ago with the construction of the soup kitchen with assistance from the Ministry of Local Government and we are looking for other ways of expanding,” said Williams.

Statistics show that there are approximately 2,000 homeless persons in Kingston and St Andrew and that the KSAMC was only providing 1,200 meals daily.

“So, it is 600 for breakfast and 600-700 for lunch. We see the need for expanding this ... ,” Williams said.

The mayor said that more than 6,000 meals were prepared for the homeless during the “long lockdown weekend” of Easter.

As he thanked various groups who extended kindness to the homeless by providing meals as well, the mayor has urged for there to be coordination with the KSAMC.

He also warned that groups that do not account to the KSAMC run the risk of ending up in confrontations with the homeless themselves.

“We are not saying that we are taking over your programme. You will do your own feeding programme but there are some issues we have to just resolve, and it is best resolved through the municipality,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, at the sitting, a motion was moved for Jamaican football star Luton Shelton to be given the keys to the city of Kingston posthumously.

The resolution was moved by councillor for the Payne Land division, Audrey Smith-Facey, and seconded by councillor of the Tivoli Gardens division, Donovan Samuels.

Romario Scott