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Statia government introduces social benefits


ST EUSTATIUS– A food bank programme was launched on Monday at the department of So- cial and Cultural affairs. Raquel Spanner-Carty, Unit Manager of Culture and Social Affairs, Commissioner of Finance Reginald Zaandam’s executive assistance Louis Brown, Commissioner Carlyle Te- arr’s executive assistance Nasha Radjouki and Tearr’s secretary Melissa Spanner were all present for the occasion.

Brown said “a social wel- fare food bond is given to persons for a six months period, where they can go to the supermarket and get essential food items. No alcoholic beverage is al- lowed, just basic needs like rice, flour etcetera.”

People can get an exten- sion of another six months to a year, Brown said. After the year has passed, an evaluation will be carried out to see how the programme has functioned and what its value was to the groups such as the elderly.

The programme was an- nounced to the public during the month of November by the people in charge: Ingrid Whitfield, Social Worker Welfare department (tel. 318-3200), Sandra Voorneman, Head of the Centre for Youth and Family (tel. 318-3272) and Nadine de Graaf and Max- ine Spanner of the labour department (tel. 318-2881).

The organizers mentioned that St. Eustatius has citizens who are having difficulty in managing financially. There are or- ganizations in the commu- nity that are actively trying to give assistance to these citizens. However, there aren’t many organizations that are offering assistance with one of life’s most basic need: Food.

People’s financial difficulties on the whole are increasing. In an attempt to try and somewhat alleviate this problem, the Department of Social Affairs has started the pilot food bank program.

People who qualify will receive financial assistance in purchasing basic necessities. Those interested in applying can contact any of those in charge via their phone numbers listed above, and find out if they qualify for the programme.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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