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Seprod gives $5m for COVID-19 response

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) yesterday received a donation of $5 million worth of food supplies from the Seprod Group to be used in its ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief response programme to mitigate against the fallout from COVID-19.

The packages, presented by Group CEO Richard Pandohie to MLSS Permanent Secretary Colette Roberts Risden at the ministry’s warehouse on Marcus Garvey Drive, included cow’s and condensed milk, flour, oil, sugar, crackers, porridge mix, cheese, pasta, sardines, and snacks. The ministry’s staff will repackage the items into ‘balanced diet’ bundles before distributing them nationwide to persons deemed food-poor, with the immediate areas of focus being those in quarantine in St Catherine, senior citizens, and the disabled.

The uptick of COVID-19 cases and the increasingly stringent measures that are being put in place to flatten the curve bring into focus the ever-present plight of the needy in Jamaica, especially in areas of quarantine.

The MLSS distributes care packages weekly to needy families in quarantine and fortnightly to others as part of its mandate to ensure that the vulnerable in society are adequately equipped with basic necessities, especially during these uncertain times. Packages are delivered house to house by over 600 staff and volunteers from the ministry’s 13 parish offices, as well as from Food For The Poor, the Jamaica Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and other community and faith-based organisations.

Grateful

Risden thanked Seprod for its generous and much-needed injection into the country’s disaster supply bank, especially now, when the need is expanding rapidly, and invited other corporate citizens to utilise the services of the ministry to ensure that the distribution of supplies reaches those in dire need throughout Jamaica.

In handing over the food supplies, Pandohie said, “No one can predict how long this crisis will last, and we need to take a structured approach to ensuring that the most vulnerable among us are taken care of. This is the only way to achieve sustainability.”

The CEO also announced that moving forward, the bulk of the company’s donations would be channelled through the MLSS.

Seprod is asking that all requests for donations be made to the Seprod Foundation via its website at www.seprod.com.