Thursday, July 25, 2024

Councilor Dianeli Aranda launches food bank program to help vulnerable families

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Food accessibility continues to be an issue for many families in San Pedro Town. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened the situation, and Councilor Dianeli Aranda is spearheading a food bank program to assist those most in need. The program will be self-sustainable by charging a reduced, affordable fee to qualified families. The funds collected will be used to keep the program afloat. To apply for the program, participants can complete this online form: https://sanpedrotowncouncil.org/sptc-foodbank.

After review, qualifying applications can purchase a food basket for BZ$25, which has a retail value of BZ$40 and up. According to Councilor Aranda, the money collected will buy more goods to keep the program going. Her plans are not solely to sustain the program with donations but to make it sustainable to keep helping those in need. The food bank program has committed to initially assist 200 families. Since the launch of the program this week, over 50 families have already been assisted. The program, so far, has received financial support from the San Pedro Town Council and Councilor Aranda recently received a BZ$10,000 donation from the Southwestern Region of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. out of Dallas, Texas, USA towards the food program.

Families on the island struggling with the means to feed themselves can start applying for assistance. Councillor Aranda also appeals to the broader community, particularly the business sector, to support the program by contributing anything to better the packages to the needy.

Online applications highly recommended due to COVID-19

It is recommended that applications be completed online due to the COVID-19 situation. Should the applicant be unable to do so, they can drop it off in person at Aranda’s office (Women, Youths, and Children Affairs) located inside the Island Galleria Building on the corner of Coconut Drive and Tarpon Street. The office is open Monday to Friday from 10AM to 11:30AM and 1:30PM to 4PM. Aranda said that applicants must provide evidence of a financial need to qualify, and based on such information, they will be notified if selected for the program.

Plans are to grow the food bank by adding new products while offering food baskets at an affordable price. Another goal is to be able to provide customized packages based on the applicant’s needs. Aranda looks forward to a successful initiative and hopes to receive the support needed. While the project intends to be sustainable, donations are always welcome. Anyone one, organization, willing and able to help/donate, can contact Councilor Aranda at email [email protected] or by calling telephone number 635-3411.

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