Government to distribute ‘Love Boxes’ of produce to needy persons in SVG
Produce is being purchased from farmers so that “Love Boxes” can be assembled for vulnerable persons affected during the period of Covid-19.
The program, an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, is to “make sure that we put a smile on our faces, even in the period of Covid-19,” Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Saboto Caesar said earlier this week.
“Life and living must continue,” he added.
Caesar remarked that because of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been many “dislocations”, especially with persons working in the tourism sector. Therefore, many are experiencing a reduced income.
“Because of that it would have an impact on their ability to access food,” he continued, explaining that it is one thing for “food to be available, it’s a next thing for it to be affordable and accessible. Three very important As. The food could be available, but it’s not accessible and it’s not affordable.”
The Minister said the Government has therefore come up with the “very unique idea” to conduct a “Love Box” program for vulnerable persons.
The agriculture minister disclosed, “Persons may be vulnerable for two months and then they get a job, or we see a restart of the tourism sector in such a way where they are no longer food vulnerable.”
He explained that his Ministry’s role will be to purchase items from the farmers, prepare the packages, and assist in the distribution, given that they have a number of vehicles at their disposal.
However, Caesar explained that identifying the recipients is not in the Ministry’s purview, and will be done by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, “working in conjunction with the churches, and civil society and with the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that the goods are taken to persons who are really in need.”
Also included in the process of bringing about these “Love Boxes” will be providing platforms on certain days so that the farmers can sell their produce.
Therefore, there will be opportunities in places such as Langley Park, and Lauders for the public to come to purchase from the farmers, and at the same time, the state will be purchasing for the assembling of the “Love Boxes.”
The Minister expressed “I really want persons to be very honest and very prompt in the distribution because there are persons who have become vulnerable because of the shock that Covid-19 has placed on the economy.”