The Child Care Board is crying out for help. The board wants donations for its annual Christmas food hamper programme, so it could meet the increasing demands for hampers to be distributed to needy families with children across the island.
The SOS went out this morning, when Acting Director Denise Nurse spoke at the presentation of 18 food hampers, which were donated by the Optimist Club of Barbados South at the board’s main office on Cheapside, The City.
Nurse told reporters that her agency handed out 213 hampers last year and was hoping to add to that number this year.
She said the need to increase the number of hampers this year came about because there were many Barbadians who were finding it difficult to provide their own essential needs, especially in the current economic climate. The board has 206 hampers for the year so far.
“There are a lot of people who don’t have anything to eat in Barbados and I don’t think people are aware of the number of people who are hungry. It has nothing sometimes to do with the houses that people live in, because we know we go into homes that have in, maybe four daughters and two may have their own children.
“When you go to a house and you carry one of these and you see four or five little children coming out that belong to another family, the officers come back and quarrel with me and say ‘nurse I want another hamper’. We find that when our officers go out and deliver, they see for themselves what people are going through,” she added.
And while this call was being made, Nurse said that the annual hamper project which started in 2000, had received a satisfying response from corporate Barbados. She said when the current state of the economy was taken into consideration, the board was exceptionally fortunate in the donations it received.
“These presentations generate other presentations for the Child Care Board. I have a lady that doesn’t work, but every year she comes and she brings two little supermarket bags with groceries. She came since December 4 and they went the same day. Sometimes people come in and offer to give a $100 and I tell them wait because I have to hand them a receipt,” she explained.
President of the Optimist Club of Barbados South, Margaret Chapman-Farley, said the organisation was happy to have donated the hampers during the season of giving. Champman-Farley said all the hampers not only included basic food items and necessities, but also personalised gifts which were collected from children from the Sports for Life Club. (AH)