Did you know that there are children who go without food during lunch hour at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School? Did you know that there are families in Ambergris Caye struggling to makes ends meet? Did you know that there is a group of people who have organized a Food Bank to work on addressing these and other related issues affecting island residents on a daily basis?
The newly formed San Pedro Food Bank has set up collection of food supplies in order to collect groceries to feed as much families as possible on a weekly basis. Pre-packed grocery bags with essential canned/basic food items have been set up on display at Caye Mart that cost $20Bze. Shoppers/donors can purchase the bags and deliver it themselves to the San Pedro Lions Den or Caye Mart makes it even easer as they deliver all the purchased bags every Friday.
The Food Bank is located upstairs of the San Pedro Lions Den and for the next three weeks its members will be stocking on food supplies before starting distribution after the Easter celebrations on April 10, 2015. The food will be given to the San Pedro Cancer Society who will distribute to families going through chemo therapy, the San Pedro AIDS Commission who will distribute to HIV patients they care for, single parents who can’t work, portions distributed to the Holy Cross Anglican School Feeding Program and to students at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School who have been identified as not receiving lunch on a daily basis.
Pre-packed grocery bags at Caye Mart set for donating to San Pedro Food Bank
The general public is also welcome to apply for assistance. Applicants will go through a thorough application process in which many factors will determine if they will be eligible to receive a weekly supply of groceries; those include income, number of children, employment status, single parenthood, etc. One parent must be employed to qualify for weekly groceries, for example police officers, teachers, etc can apply. Applications will be taken starting April 10, 2015.
“There are people just not making enough to totally get by,” commented Brittney ODaniel. “The food bank supplies enough food for the family for a week; they will be able to pick up groceries weekly on the weekends.” Brittney is one of the founding members of the Food Bank along with Wally Nunez Jr. and Darwin Palma; assistance has been also been rendered to them by members of the San Pedro Lions Club.
Anyone wanting to contribute can take nonperishable or canned goods to Lions Den on Friday between 8a.m. and 6p.m. or message Brittney, Wally or Darwin at the following numbers for assistance with pick up or purchase at Caye Mart: 630-1241/632-5017/628-8461. The Food Bank does not accept cash, only food, advertising, office materials, etc.
More displays and grocery bags will be set up at other stores around the island by next week. Caye Mart is the first and experimental site for the first display/pickup. More information on other stores assisting the Food Bank will be posted on the organization’s Facebook Profile (click here). Management at Caye Mart has also agreed to also donate one food item for every bag sold at the store.
“We're looking forward to all of the restaurants in San Pedro helping as well as our tourist community,” commented Brittney. “Yes, we're very excited; we have been working on the project for almost six months now to get everyone lined up and involved. I worked with the north Texas food bank for years, so I am very happy to bring that experience here. Wally and Darwin have been excellent in helping start up the Food Bank and there are many more volunteers involved.”
The Food Bank would like to give recognition to Cory McDermott, Tropic Air, Captain Sharks, Caye Mart and the San Pedro Lions Club for being the first to render their unconditional assistance to the program. Other businesses also already lending a hand are Palapa Bar and Black Orchid Restaurant.