Food for the Poor ramps up support to vulnerable groups
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FOOD for the Poor Guyana Inc. (FFP Guyana) said it is collaborating with a range of community partners to provide support to vulnerable populations most impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus.
“Our community partners span the ten regions of Guyana and comprises of churches, elderly homes, non-governmental organisations, and youth developmental and training groups,” the charitable organisation said in a release on Wednesday.

Through FFP Guyana’s COVID-19 distribution efforts so far, approximately 60 of our community partners have received food relief along with cleaning supplies and masks. Amongst some of the distributed items are: white rice, flour, Manna Rice Meal, evaporated milk, canned beans, cleaning products, cooking oil, vegetables, vitamins, clothing, mattresses, furniture, nutritional shakes, household items, personal hygiene products, adult and baby diapers.

Amongst community partners who, with support from FFP Guyana, have been instrumental in providing relief to the less fortunate are: United Bridge Builders Mission, St. Joachim Roman Catholic Church, Voices GY and the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club. United Bridge Builders Mission has distributed 250 hampers consisting of food rations, cleaning supplies and sensitization materials to vulnerable families along the East Coast of Demerara, while St. Joachim Roman Catholic Church prepared and distributed 200 hampers to families in the Upper Corentyne area. With Venezuelan refugees being amongst the most vulnerable group adversely affected by the pandemic, Voices GY has provided 50 hampers to vulnerable communities. The Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club donated hundreds of hampers in collaboration with their partners in region 6. While FFP Bartica committee distributed 60 hampers in Region 7. FFP Guyana has also enhanced our partnership with the Ministry of Health and Civil Defence Commission. The Ministry of Health has received donations of medical supplies and 68 beds to aid in the establishment of emergency/alternative medical shelters. The Civil Defence Commission has received food items to aid in bolstering their large-scale relief efforts.

Mask production and sensitization

Additionally, the organisation says masks play an important role in bolstering proper hygiene and social distancing efforts. However, many persons cannot afford or are unable to make masks for themselves and families. As a result, FFP Guyana has partnered with several of our community partners for the sewing and distribution of masks in their communities and amongst vulnerable populations. Community partners that are a part of the masks initiative are: Baramita Village Council, Hogstye Lancaster Sustainable Community Development Council, Mahaica Women’s Group, Orchid Foundation, Tabernacle Assemblies of God Church and the United Bridge Builders Mission. FFP Guyana provides the materials (cloth, thread and elastic) to these groups. They in turn provide the manual labour for sewing and distribution. Approximately three thousand masks are currently being produced for distribution to children’s homes, rural and Indigenous communities. Masks are being sewn and distributed in Regions 1, 3, 4, 6 and 10.
Given the rate of extreme poverty in the community of Baramita (Region One) and their vulnerability to the virus, special emphasis is being placed on mask-sewing, distribution and sensitization in the community. A procurement of soap and bleach for 600 households has been shipped to the community for their public health campaign. FFP Guyana has been working with
the village council and the Jehovah Witness Church in the community to provide COVID-19 sensitisation materials to residents in their native Carib language.

Food for the Poor also stated that the Solus Christus Community that was constructed by Food for the Poor Guyana Inc. in 2018 currently has a population of 384 persons (64 families). The community, even before COVID-19, struggled with food security and now grapples with heightened levels of inaccessibility. Under the food relief project, 64 families have received food rations, cleaning supplies and cloth masks for a period of three months. This timeline will be further extended if extenuating circumstances persists.

With proper hygiene practices still being one of the most effective tools against the spread of COVID-19, FFP Guyana has embarked on a mission to provide hand-washing facilities to community hotspots. With the community of Sophia identified as a hotspot for the virus, three popular stores/supermarkets were targeted for the installation of a washing sink initiative. FFP Guyana provided the materials and labour for the installation of the hand-washing facilities, while the business owners have ensured water is readily available to customers.

Under the Angel’s of Hope programme, monthly support of food, personal care and educational items are provided to 9 children’s home in several regions across the country. With the arrival of COVID-19, FFP Guyana has been providing four of these homes with emergency supplies and funds to cover necessary purchases as their needs have increased. These are: Camal Home, St. John’s Bosco, Hauraruni Girls Home and A Sanctuary Children’s Home. Through a partnership with NAREI Region 6, Camal Home is currently being provided with vegetables. The remaining AOH homes are well maintained.

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