Hundreds of families in St. James have benefited from the donation of more than 600 care packages and 2,000 face masks as part of an ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) response programme being spearheaded by the Custos of the parish, Bishop Conrad Pitkin.
The Custos told JIS News that the initiative, which began in April with the support of various partners, is aimed at assisting residents who have had their lives affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He pointed out that beneficiaries include the poor, the elderly, persons with disabilities and retired soldiers from communities such as Cambridge, Rose Hill, Dumfries, Maroon Town, Springfield, Queen’s Gate, Barrett Town, among others.
The packages are taken into the communities by justices of the peace (JPs) for distribution to needy persons.
“We have gone across the parish and not just in the urban areas, because the need is wide and great,” Custos Pitkin said.
“We felt that there was need for this kind of intervention, and being the first citizen of the parish as the Custos, I felt that was my responsibility, using what is right with Jamaica to correct what is wrong with Jamaica,” he added.
“So we have reached out, [and] thanks should go the sponsors, who have stepped in,” he added.
Harry Hivey of Queen’s Gate said he is more than grateful for the assistance. “At the time, nothing was in the house and they bring the care package so I can get a good meal. So I feel good getting it. It helped me out a lot,” the 85-year-old shut-in said.
Another recipient, Inez Davidson of Rose Hill, was also thankful for the care package and masks. “I am so happy and so glad. God bless the one who sent it,” she said.