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JIS News

The St. Catherine Poor Relief Department feted some 500 of the parish’s poor and indigent on Friday (Dec.16) at the Department fifth annual Christmas treat.
The event, held at Emancipation Square in Spanish Town, drew residents from Old Harbour, Point Hill, Bog walk, Central Village, Lakes Pen, Sligoville, Portmore and Gregory Park, who partook of traditional Jamaican Christmas fare such as ham, cake and sorrel, while enjoying the company of others.
Inspector of the Poor for St. Catherine, Vera Roof, told JIS News that the treat was part of the Department’s outreach activities and was designed to share the spirit of Christmas with the less fortunate.
“This year, Spanish Town’s corporate sector really chipped in and more companies committed cash and kind to the treat,” she said, adding that the donation of ham, sorrel and other delights went down well with the crowd.
“The elderly was our focus” Mrs. Roof said, but noted that, “because of the strong support received this year, we were also able to fete a number of children”.
She told JIS News that many of the persons feted appreciated the attention and the opportunity to socialise with others. “You can see the light in their eyes and feel the genuine warmth from their smiles, hugs and simple expressions of ‘thank you’, she noted.
Mrs. Roof attributed the success of this year’s Christmas treat to a change in public perception.
“Persons are more receptive to what is happening around them and they want to know that what is solicited for persons in need actually gets to those it is intended,” she pointed out.
She noted that similar treats were being planned for Linstead, Riverdale, Guys Hill and Harkers Hall.
Benito Santana, a senior citizen, who is wheelchair bound, said the treat was an excellent way of sharing the Christmas spirit and to rekindle the “good old memories”.
“I hope this treat for us continues for a long time as it makes us feel good,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Roof called on Jamaicans to do more for the less fortunate in the society.