Thursday, May 30, 2024

‘Food for San Pedro’ assists 157 island families during lockdown


A total of 157 families received assistance in the form of food items on Thursday, August 20th, through an initiative baptized with the name ‘Food for San Pedro’. Belize City Attorney at-Law Audrey Matura, along with a host of volunteers on the island, has started this project to assist those that have been heavily affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and are most in need.

food for san pedroThe food hampers were packed and distributed by island resident Dennis Craft and a group of volunteers. They handed out the food packages all over San Pedro, including three miles north of the island. The group of volunteers also took their time in identifying those families in need that have not been getting any assistance from any other food program.

Matura said that the goal was to help 200 families, but some families, due to their size received additional food items. The program aims to reach a total of 300 families and Matura and her team look forward to being able to collect more items and deliver them next week.

Matura shared that this drive to help families in San Pedro came when the island took the worst hit from COVID-19 and has experienced a longer lockdown than any other part of the country. Isolated from the mainland, residents are experiencing dire economic conditions as island undergoes a second mandatory lockdown. The first lockdown was in March, and that lockdown was extended as the country experienced its own cases. Islanders were placed under a second four-week quarantine in August. With the cases of COVID-19 increasing, job opportunities dried up, people are struggling to survive, pay bills and feed their families.

“[The island] has always been the source of the economic wealth for years, yet the investment by Central Government is not reflective of that,” said Matura. “The bulk of tourism tax we benefitted from came from San Pedro, so it is just right we help the people, who for years helped this economy.” Matura added that although they cannot help all, they can at least help those in most need.

food for san pedroThe collection of food items came from generous donations including businesses and individuals. Matura has also contributed financially to the project via her law firm matching donations. She urges persons and companies that can donate do so and help more vulnerable families.

Donations can be made to Matura & Co’s small business account at Scotiabank, Belama Branch, Belize City. The account number, inclusive of transit number, is 87965008736521.

A BIG thank you goes out to all donors, volunteers and in particular to Dennis Craft, Aldair Tun, Valentine Rosado, Gilmer Castillo, Jim Stephenson, SANCAS Realty, and Caribbean Tires. The Ice Cream Corner-Belmopan, Terminal Deck Food Joint, Genesis Art, and GS Com in Belize City. A special thank you goes out to the Eiley Brothers for shipping the items on Caribbean Queen.

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