The National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) has expanded its Meals on Wheels feeding programme to several rural communities. Under the programme, cooked meals are provided for the elderly and shut-ins during the week and food packages on public holidays.
Persons can benefit from the provisions based on the extent of their needs.
Meals were initially provided to senior citizens in the Corporate Area who are registered under the programme, however, Labour and Social Minister, Karl Samuda, who has portfolio responsibility for the NCSC, said the decision was taken to expand the initiative and make the benefits available to more persons across the country.
This, he said, as part of the thrust to prioritise food security for this group, noting that “they are the ones [who] are [most] vulnerable.”
He was speaking during the recent Jamaica Red Cross virtual biennial general assembly where he said the Ministry is tasked with providing support for Jamaica’s most vulnerable, noting that it continues to oversee several initiatives aimed at assisting these persons.
“We have had to be creative in what we do and how we reach out to the poor and [vulnerable]. We have been providing critical resources to these groups. These include the $94 million special emergency relief programme for those persons severely impacted by the economic downturn arising from the [coronavirus (COVID-19)] pandemic,”
Samuda also lauded the Jamaica Red Cross for supporting the country’s COVID-19 response.
“Thank you for your continued support to Jamaica, and especially over the past year in this fight against COVID-19. I encourage all the organisations, and companies too, to partner with us as we continue together to serve the whole process of tackling these challenges more effectively,”
Noting that the organisation has, so far, volunteered 18,000 hours to COVID-19 relief efforts, Samuda called for greater collaboration to further strengthen the partnership.
“This will strengthen the whole process of assistance to the most vulnerable in our society,” he added.