SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Members of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten, Interactors, and Volunteers distributed close to 200 Food Relief Boxes to those registered as in need.
Purchasing of the food items was made possible by a very generous donation from the Windward Island Bank which has committed to at least 6 months of helping the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten assist those in the community receive much needed and nourishing food.
“It is easy to think that since businesses are opening back up and many are back to work that things are back to normal. That is so far from the reality. So many have lost their jobs with little prospect of finding a new one, and so many more are underemployed and can’t meet their obligations such as rent and lights, which leaves little left to provide food for their family,” said Dimple Sagre, the recently installed Rotary Club President.
“We see the desperation out there and as Rotarians we will continue to do our part to help ensure that as many as possible receive this assistance,” President Dimple continued to say.
The Middle Region and Mount Willem Hill Area were the focus of this food distribution and the database of those having registered for assistance that is cooperatively used by K-1, Freegan Food, Red Cross, and Domino’s for food relief was used to compile the list of names.
There were also several families that were referred via other sources such as the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten’s Messenger account, other foundations supported by Rotary, and word of mouth as to desperate situations.
Each box was packed full of various food items such as rice, potatoes, bananas, beans, pasta, flour, oil, tuna, crackers, peanut butter, cereal, milk, sauces, vegetables, and more and had an approximate food value of fls 100. The amount of food was maximized as the suppliers offered cost price on many of the items which helped Rotarians prepare even more boxes.
Project Coordinator Rotarian John Caputo said “No Child, No Person, Nobody should go to bed hungry. The state of the economy, not just here but around the world, needs the help of those that can be there to do so and assist those that can’t help themselves right now. Seeing the look desperation being replaced by a look of warm thanks when we show up with food is what makes the time and effort worth it.
“It is going to get worse before it gets better and that is why our club has committed to assisting and focusing on food relief and distribution for the next several months. We can’t thank WIB enough for entrusting Rotary to facilitate the distribution to so many.” Preparations and purchasing are already underway for the next round of food relief packages. A different area that hadn’t recently been serviced by one of the organizations providing food relief will be chosen and another 200 food packages will be distributed to them soon.