Tue | May 18, 2021

PATH families get care packages

New Fortress Energy Foundation, Food for the Poor team up to bring relief for needy St Catherine, Clarendon residents

Published:Monday | April 19, 2021 | 12:10 AM
A mother and her daughter show off what they received in their care package on a video call to other family members. The care packages were delivered by New Fortress Energy Foundation and Food for the Poor to parents with students on the PATH programme in
A mother and her daughter show off what they received in their care package on a video call to other family members. The care packages were delivered by New Fortress Energy Foundation and Food for the Poor to parents with students on the PATH programme in Clarendon and St Catherine to help them cope with the lockdown weekends.

For families who earn their living on a day-to-day basis, planning for the lockdown weekends that were imposed by the Government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus was a daunting task. It is for this reason that Food for the Poor Jamaica teamed up with LNG provider, New Fortress Energy Foundation, to provide care packawges for families on the PATH programme with students attending infant and primary schools in Old Harbour, St Catherine and Clarendon.

The parents were overwhelmed with gratitude as they collected the packages. Tracey-Ann Campbell, a household helper whose third-grade son attends Old Harbour Bay Primary, was one such person.

“I don’t even know what is in the bags yet but look how much stuff I get. I’m so grateful, you wouldn’t even know. Thank you, thank you so much. Keep up the good work,” Campbell expressed.

Campbell shared that her children’s father is a scaffolder, but things have been extremely slow since the pandemic. “Now with the children at home since schools closed, it’s been even harder, so I’m so happy that I was one of the parents who got called.”

Similarly, Shelly-Ann Broomfield, whose son is in grade four at Good Hope Primary, said: “This will go a long way for us. I’m very thankful because it’s been very challenging. Thank you, New Fortress and Food for the Poor, for thinking about us.”

DIFFICULT TIME

Confirming some of the challenges that students, and by extension, parents and teachers continue to face, Principal of Davis Primary School Jason Bryan said: “It’s been a difficult time; even though more than 80 per cent of our students are online, many of them still have issues with their devices. A lot of them are either not working or not compatible. Food is also a big issue because the students are home and eating more, and when the parents are stressed, the students are not able to focus, and this causes some of the teachers to be naturally stressed. It’s a ripple effect and we’re praying that it gets better soon.”

Verona Carter, vice president at New Fortress Energy, said: “We are heartened by the reactions of these families. We know that coping through the pandemic has been very challenging for all of us, but especially for vulnerable families, where the economic dislocation and impact have been so severe. We remain committed to continue to serve and support Jamaica on its path to economic development and sustainability, especially in times like these when the help is most needed.”

The care packages, which were delivered just in time for the long Easter weekend lockdown included: rice, flour, cornmeal, bun and cheese, beans, sausages and cooking oil. They also received sanitary items including toothpaste, toilet paper, bar soap, sanitiser and face masks.

The schools that benefited in St Catherine include: Old Harbour Primary, Old Harbour Bay Primary, Marlie Mount Primary, Blackwoods Gardens Infant, Good Hope Primary, Davis Primary and Marlie Hill Primary. Meanwhile, the schools in Clarendon include: Mineral Heights Primary, Mitchell Town Primary, Hayes Primary and Watsonton Primary.