Fri | Jan 28, 2022

95 families receive grocery packages from Youth Reaching Youth

Published:Friday | January 14, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Nakesha Smith (centre), mother of Youth Reaching Youth student Tanique Tate (left), is presented with a grocery package by Youth Reaching Youth Chairman Dave Garcia. Smith was one of 95 recipients to receive this gift.
Nakesha Smith (centre), mother of Youth Reaching Youth student Tanique Tate (left), is presented with a grocery package by Youth Reaching Youth Chairman Dave Garcia. Smith was one of 95 recipients to receive this gift.

THE LIVES of 95 families were touched by the generous donation of grocery packages from Youth Reaching Youth (YRY) teachers, youth leaders and their families. The packages were facilitated through a food bank, incorporated in 2021, to assist students so that their learning process would not be hindered through lack of basic necessities.

All the recipients were grateful for the grocery packages, which included rice, cornmeal, flour, macaroni, syrup, mackerel, sardines, salt fish, salt mackerel, sausage, whole milk, oats, cooking oil, cleaning agents and toiletries.

According to Angela Plunkett, principal of Youth Reaching Youth, there is a demonstrated negative impact on learning because of poor nutrition. “Not only does it result in poor academic performance, but it also negatively impacts the physical and social conditions within our society,” she explained.

Plunkett continued, saying that the “government alone is not able to reduce the economic crisis and impact of COVID-19 on the youth and their families”, and encouraged schools, churches, and corporate entities to come together to help families survive this crisis.

“This is our small contribution, and we are thankful to the individuals and corporate entities who were able to make this happen,” she said.

Both parents and students expressed their gratitude. Nakisha Smith, parent of one student, said, “it certainly helped”. Student Chevon Campbell was more expressive, saying “it was a lovely bag that was very helpful to the family”, and stated how thankful they were for the package. Campbell, who resides in the surrounding Swallowfield community, continued by expounding on the benefits attending YRY has had on his life, saying “it’s a great school that gives a lot of positive energy, and an opportunity to learn about God”.

Presentations were made by chairman Dave Garcia, who reminded both parents and students of how blessed they were, and encouraged them to be a blessing and make a difference to other persons they come into contact with.

The gifts were made possible through generous donations in both cash and kind from the friends of YRY and Swallowfield Chapel, the parent organisation of Youth Reaching Youth. Youth Reaching Youth offers a slightly different take on the educational journey, incorporating the spiritual, social, occupational, resiliency skills, character building and goal-setting initiatives, evangelism training in theory and practice and the creative arts alongside regular studies.

The programme, which is youth-driven and adult-guided, empowers youth to be leaders by using their God-given talents and abilities to rise above their circumstances through knowing God, achieving mastery in their educational pursuits, diligence, hard work, respect for self and others.

Persons are invited to come on board by investing in the lives of Jamaica’s Youth, through Youth Reaching Youth at youthreachingyouth.org.