Sat | Oct 23, 2021

Progressive Grocers, Holness bring Christmas cheer to St Andrew East Rural

Published:Friday | December 18, 2020 | 12:13 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Arlene Miller (right), a member of the Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Limited, helps Darren Crosbale to look through a care package that would better suit him. The handover of care packages to students residing in Harbour View and Bull Bay took place at th
Arlene Miller (right), a member of the Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Limited, helps Darren Crosbale to look through a care package that would better suit him. The handover of care packages to students residing in Harbour View and Bull Bay took place at the St Benedict’s Primary School, Seven Miles, Bull Bay, on Wednesday.
Juliet Holness, member of parliament for East Rural St Andrew, shows her skills in a game of hopscotch on the day that she took part in the presentation of care packages to Harbour View- and Bull Bay-based students.
Juliet Holness, member of parliament for East Rural St Andrew, shows her skills in a game of hopscotch on the day that she took part in the presentation of care packages to Harbour View- and Bull Bay-based students.
Juliet Holness (left), member of parliament for East Rural S Andrew, and Pat Smith-Bravo, stores operation manager, Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Limited, hand Mia Jacobs a care package on Wednesday. Holness and Progressive Grocers presented packages to s
Juliet Holness (left), member of parliament for East Rural S Andrew, and Pat Smith-Bravo, stores operation manager, Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Limited, hand Mia Jacobs a care package on Wednesday. Holness and Progressive Grocers presented packages to students residing in Harbour View and Bull Bay students at St Benedict's Primary School in Seven Miles.
Katonah Henry (left) and Itrula Parker look through their care packages.
Katonah Henry (left) and Itrula Parker look through their care packages.
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With the help of the Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Foundation, Member of Parliament (MP) for St Andrew East Rural Juliet Holness was able to spread early Christmas joy with the children and the elderly in the constituency on Wednesday.

Many of them would have experienced economic hardships due to COVID-19.

As children at the St Benedict’s Primary School in Bull Bay enjoyed a game of hopscotch among themselves, Holness and members of the Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Foundation joined in to give the youngsters some competition.

Following this activity, the children were given more reasons to smile. With the kind donation from Progressive Grocers, they were showered with toys and food items.

Craig Chin, chairman of the foundation, told The Gleaner that the initiative was in the hope of brightening the smiles of the children.

“We are here as part of the joy of giving initiative to help give back to the communities and help to make everybody’s Christmas and holidays a little brighter, especially during this really stressful and trying COVID time. We did one earlier in the year when COVID just started. We are doing one today for the children, and we are going to go to other areas to distribute foodstuff to shut-ins and people who can’t come out and can’t help themselves. We are trying to stretch it from the children to the elderly,” he said.

The MP, alongside the Progressive Grocers team, visited homes in Harbour View to so some drop-offs.

Grateful to Progressive Grocers

Holness expressed gratitude to Progressive Grocers for agreeing to partner on the initiative.

“We try to always make sure we let people know where our help comes from. A big thank you to Progressive Grocers,” she said. As she collected her packages, Loretta Samuels, who just turned 83 on Saturday, shared that jerked chicken will surely be part of her Christmas dinner.

Holness assured her that she had enough food in her bags to make breakfast, lunch and dinner however, she wants it.

“I just turned 83, Saturday gone. Mi feel good. Mi strong. Di only thing I take is pressure tablets, plus mi have glaucoma. In January I am going to do my check-up, but mi good. Christmas, I plan to cook and eat, man, for myself and my 77-year-old brother. Mi a go do some jerk chicken, with some mutton. Mi buy mi sorrel already, enuh.”

Holness also visited the home of a 72-year-old man, wishing him a wonderful Christmas, but he said he would prefer to have a ‘two da full’ Christmas, which is twice as wonderful.

“He is not easy, enuh. As you can see, most of them are very entertaining. He is very witty,” Holness said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com