Nassau, The Bahamas – “This is a big help. This is really, really good for the people,” said Jolean Williams as she collected her gift certificate for groceries.
Williams was among Bahamians and residents, Wednesday, who braved the heat and long queues at Pentecostal Baptist Church in Nassau Village where the Red Cross distributed boxes of food parcels and vouchers on behalf of the National Food Distribution Task Force.
Williams’s position at a local restaurant was made redundant and she has been out of work since March.
This is her first time receiving help via the government’s program. She said the assistance would go a long way to meet the needs of her household of eight.
Similarly, Adrian Forbes said the food assistance offers much help to him and his family of six.
Forbes has been out of work for the past two months. His wife recently started a “small” job caring for a relative.
He said the wait was worth it.
“When you want something you have to wait for it,” said Forbes. “It is a help,” he added.
“This means the world to me,” said another recipient who is employed in the hospitality industry, and preferred not to be named.
“All my life I have worked but this is the first time I am experiencing this [situation].
“I have six [family members] in my house. I was the only one working.
“You have to give God thanks in all things. I am not ungrateful,” she added.
She acknowledged that the volunteers are doing a good job but opined that the process was a bit hectic because some people are desperate.
Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, in his contribution to the 2020-2021 Budget Debate, described the food program as one of the largest ever public/private social care initiatives in the history of The Bahamas which utilizes a caring network of faith-based institutions and non-government organizations.
He said it is a “massive” logistical program comprising the entire country.