Over 200 Cayman Islands residents visited the First Assembly of God Church on Old Crewe Road on Saturday, 25th April to receive food supplies from the Cayman Food Bank.
Volunteers from the non-profit group, along with the assistance of the Royal Cayman Islands Police managed the process of people arriving at the Church to receive the bags of food, which contained roughly three days-worth of food supplies consisting of beans, rice, canned meats, tuna, flour and sugar among other goods.
The give-away comes at a time when more Caymanians and resident work permit holders are losing their jobs and finding it harder to source food due to the COVID-19 induced work-stoppage in the Cayman Islands.
A recent press release from the Islands’ Chamber of Commerce estimates that unemployment could soar to 30 percent in the coming weeks ahead, as more businesses shut their doors and layoff workers.
“We would like to do it in more locations, but the food distribution has to be concentrated in one spot to avoid persons from double dipping,” noted Food Bank Director Marie Eden, who led the group of nearly 30 volunteers in the effort.
She noted that Saturday’s food distribution effort was governed by last name designation and the Cayman Food Bank was also distributing hot meals via delivery, adding that the effort could have easily seen more than the 400 persons in the community assisted over the course of the day.
The food distribution drive also happens on Wednesdays in order to assist those whose last names are in the category than the one served on Saturday.
Clad in their Personal Protective Equipment, the volunteer workers made sure they adhered to ‘social distancing’ guidelines; standing within 6-feet of those in need.
“We have been in operation for over two years now and this present situation the organization has been proving just how necessary we are; especially at this time. That is why it is so important that we get the support from the community. We need it now more than ever,” Mrs. Eden pointed out.
She added that the Cayman Food Bank welcomes food and financial support from the community, noting that financial assistance tends to go much further because the Cayman Food Bank can then source the food from suppliers.
“The need is always growing,” she remarked.
With workers from jurisdictions such as Nicaragua now stuck in the Cayman Islands after that Country closed its doors on its returning citizens at the last minute before a flight was set to take them home, the meals provided by the Cayman Food Bank and other organizations like it are making all the difference in the Cayman Islands being able to avoid a humanitarian disaster.
As other workers are furloughed and logistics regarding travel become increasing challenging, it is expected that the need for food-aid in the Territory will only increase, according to Cayman Food Bank organizers.
To donate to the Cayman Food Bank or to sign up for assistance from the programme, persons in the community may visit www.caymanfoodbank.com.