Sun | Dec 5, 2021

300 receive care packages spearheaded by Sean Paul Foundation

Published:Monday | September 20, 2021 | 12:05 AM
Senior citizen Dorothy Nelson (left) is delighted to receive a care package of food supplies, sanitisation and personal care items from Sean Paul Foundation’s representative, Steve ‘Urchin’ Wilson (right), during a distribution exercise at the Olympi
Senior citizen Dorothy Nelson (left) is delighted to receive a care package of food supplies, sanitisation and personal care items from Sean Paul Foundation’s representative, Steve ‘Urchin’ Wilson (right), during a distribution exercise at the Olympics Gardens Community Centre on September 9. Food for the Poor Executive Director Kivette Silvera (second left) and C.H. Gayle Foundation’s Operations Manager Chantall Hardy offer assistance with the load.
The resilient Dorothy Forbes (centre), happily accepts a care package with a month’s supply of food, sanitisation and personal care from Sean Paul Foundation representative, Steve ‘Urchin’ Wilson (left) and Food for the Poor Executive Director Kivett
The resilient Dorothy Forbes (centre), happily accepts a care package with a month’s supply of food, sanitisation and personal care from Sean Paul Foundation representative, Steve ‘Urchin’ Wilson (left) and Food for the Poor Executive Director Kivette Silvera at the Joseph Icons ECE School on September 9.
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More than 300 families from several inner-city communities across St Andrew were gifted care packages on September 9.

In an initiative spearheaded by the Sean Paul Foundation, CH Gayle Foundation; reggae and dancehall artiste Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell; world’s fastest man Usain Bolt; and entrepreneurs Gary and Tina Matalon sponsored packages to residents of Olympic Gardens, Waltham Gardens and Seivwright Gardens through Food For The Poor (FFP).

The packages – each valued at US$60 – included flour, rice, cornmeal, pasta, syrup, crackers, cooking oil, oats, milk powder, sardines, mackerel, canned corn, sausages, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, alcohol and hand sanitiser.

“These are very hard and unprecedented times. This pandemic has taken a toll on many people physically, mentally, spiritually and especially financially. In keeping with the spirit of ‘I am my brother’s keeper’, a few friends of mine and Food For The Poor got together to see how we could help a few communities. We wanted to ease the pressure a little bit and spread some love,” said founder of the charity, Sean Paul Henriques, in an interview following the distribution exercise.

Distribution of the care packages was coordinated by FFP and the Social Development Commission, utilising their community mobilisation expertise to ensure packages went to over 100 deserving families and individuals at each location.

Kivette Silvera, executive director of FFP, said: “These persons would have been identified based on our partnerships with people on the ground. Some of them are shut-ins and some would have lost their jobs. We’re on the ground to ensure that these persons would have something to eat, especially during this lockdown. Sometimes, because they are not able to move, they do not have a job, they are not able to buy the basic necessities.”

TOGETHER TO SUPPORT

“Some members in the communities have come together to support the persons that are in desperate need, because they know that, at the end of the day, if we help each other, the world will be a better place,” she added.

Meanwhile, Operations Manager of the CH Gayle Foundation, Chantall Hardy, expressed satisfaction that her organisation was able to lend a helping hand to persons in need, particularly during the lockdown period.

“You could see the genuine gratitude and joy in the recipients’ faces today. Not often do you hear of foundations reaching out to each other to make a greater impact and we are happy that the Sean Paul Foundation decided to reach out to the CH Gayle Foundation. We look forward to future projects,” Hardy said.

Shaggy, a philanthropist at heart, noted, “Sean has always supported us with Shaggy and Friends … we have a very good relationship, so it was important for me to step up where this venture was concerned. These are tough times for everyone, especially the people in the inner-cities and garrisons of Jamaica, and with the no-movement days due to the lockdown, it was urgently needed. When Sean decided to assist, not much thought was needed. Kudos to Sean and his foundation for the effort.”

Usain Bolt, who didn’t expect to receive such a call from Sean Paul, added, “When Sean Paul called me about the initiative, there was no hesitation as I know it was for a great cause. I am always happy to give back to the Jamaican people. It’s a very challenging time for a lot of Jamaicans right now, so when I got the request from Sean via Food For The Poor, I consulted with my team on how we could support.”

The care package distribution was the sixth such activity organised by the Sean Paul Foundation with the help of FFP since 2020, impacting approximately 900 individuals.