Five hundred families across St. James have benefited from a donation of care packages from the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee.
The packages, valued at US$10,000, were handed over to residents on Thursday (October 8) at the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) office, located on Church Street in Montego Bay.
The parcels contained food items, including flour, sugar, cornmeal, bread and cooking oil; and toiletries.
Member of the local Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities committee, Jasmine Tomlinson Brown, told JIS News that the gesture is aimed at supporting residents who have been feeling the economic pinch due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She informed that the PMI assisted the charity group to select the beneficiaries.
“Each year at this time, the [international] team would come from Atlanta and have a health fair, but due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it was not possible this year, so they have sent US$10,000 to provide care packages for persons in and around Montego Bay, St James,” Ms. Tomlinson Brown said.
“Due to the COVID-19 situation and what’s going on in the society, we figured it would be good to assist in that area, because a lot of persons have lost their jobs and have their children who are at home,” she added.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams, who participated in the exercise, expressed gratitude to the charity group, noting that the packages will bring added relief to many families.
For his part, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, St. James, Richard Vernon, thanked the organisation for the continued support given to the people of St. James.
He noted that the care packages will help to ease the economic burden faced by residents.
The core focus of the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee is its annual Vin Martin Sister Cities Memorial Health Mission. In the past 26 years, the Committee has donated nearly $100 million worth of medical supplies and services to some 50,000 patients in the Montego Bay area.