Thousands of island residents are jobless, worrying about food, rent and their survival during these difficult time. While very little assistance is coming form government and local governance, many small groups of Belizeans and businesses are rallying together to assist as much as possible. Food for San Pedro is the latest initiative for assistance to the island community of Ambergris Caye that is in its second lockdown since the threat of the Corona virus pandemic to Belize.
Over 200 families on the island will be receiving assistance by way of food items from “Food for San Pedro” that is being led by Attorney-at-law Audrey Matura from Belize City and several other Belizeans who collaborated with her. Island residents in need have been clamoring for basic supplies they are lacking, and this has touched the heart of Matura and her friends.
“I am really pleading for donation for SP as they are under a 2nd lockdown due to massive COVID19 outbreak,” commented Matura on a Facebook post. “If you have been following my page you will see I decided to do a food drive for the people of San Pedro. You can never send too much food because remember we should eat 3 meals a day for 7 days a week, so that is 21 plates of food for one person. Now, if you have to feed the average family of 6, that is 126 meals for one family. That is a lot of food, but many barely have for one plate a day and some none because they are currently unemployed due to COVID-19.”
Under the initiative, Matura says they are trying to give groceries of basic food items of flour, beans, rice, sugar, cooking oil, chicken sausages and ramen noodles to 200 families once a week.
“I chose San Pedro because they were the first to go on lock down, they’re an isolated place in the sense that it’s an island and the last time the crisis was serious for them and seeing the amount of cases coming out of San Pedro their lock down I imagine would be longer than any other place,” commented Matura to Love FM News. “So it’s just that, I thought that they needed the extra help. For the past five months San Pedro has really been taking a hit.
We know that most of their economy is based on tourism, the short time that it was open the local people patronized them and there was a little bit of comeback but imagine now nothing of that. People have told me that they’ve used up all their savings. It’s desperate. I can’t solve everything but think at least food people should get because I’m told that many people they’re being evicted, many people can’t pay their mortgages and loans and basic bills and I was hoping that apart from doing this initiative that the government would pass a legislation specifically to help people whose mortgages are in default and there could be foreclosure. I’m hoping that that lobby would go far because the same way they passed legislation for all sorts of things overnight I think they need to pass a legislation where banks cannot be committing usury against people.
Right now some banks have given people are reprieve for three months sometimes six months but then that interest is stacked on to your principal so now you’re paying interest upon what you owed the new amount that you can’t pay as interest itself and so you’re paying more. And so imagine five months without being able to pay that, this dilemma will not leave right now.”
“So for sure we cannot cover all their needs but we can at least ensure we help alleviate some hunger. Please donate to my cause and do not worry about other entities or political parties giving as well, because none of them, nor I, can feed all these needy people 3 or at least 2 meals a day. But if we all pitch in, collectively we can fill in the gaps. Trust me when I say hundreds of family need the basic food items.”
Matura&Co has been matching all the donations made to the initiative and a first shipment has been made. The items were sent to island resident Dennis Craft, who along with other team members, are taking the lead to reach out to the community to distribute. Some of the items were sent to the Roman Catholic Church under the Seed of Life program as well. You can contribute to them directly too.
You can make cash donation. Send to Matura&Co small business account at Scotiabank Belama branch, Belize city. Account number inclusive of transit number is 87965008736521
Let’s give from the heart!”