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Food baskets to be provided to 300 elderly Vincentians quarterly

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In April, just before the Easter holidays, the Zero Hunger Trust Fund provided food baskets valued in excess of EC$200 to over 300 elderly Vincentians, a follow-up of what was done last December.

And this is expected to be done on a quarterly basis, according to Minister of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labour Camillo Gonsalves.

Addressing a press briefing at the Cabinet Room on April 28, Minister Gonsalves said the Zero Hunger Trust Fund, funded by a two per cent levy on mobile phone calls and international calls, have been feeding elderly persons assessed as having no guaranteed means of support.

He said needs assessments were done by Zero Hunger Trust Fund personnel, the Statistics Department and the Ministry of Social Welfare and he is very proud of the technical people administering the programme.

“I do not get involved in the process,” he said. “It is strictly based on factors of age, need and vulnerability and I want to applaud the very small staff for going across the country and the Grenadines and going into the homes of elderly Vincentian in their 80s and 90s who do not have the support they should and giving them food.”

He explained that the funding comes from, “a small tax on your cell phone,” so he wants “to thank all Vincentians who use their LIME and Digicel phones for feeding 300 elderly Vincentians”.

The Minister added that the Zero Hunger Trust Fund is helping this country achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), aimed at eradicating hunger.

It was also revealed that soon 20 farmers in North Leeward will receive water tanks, irrigation equipment and seeds to enable them to become more productive.

Minister Gonsalves said that while they would be under no obligation to help with the Zero Hunger Trust Fund, he hopes they will eventually be able to supply the initiative with fruits and vegetables.

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