SOCIAL Development and Family Services Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said her ministry has spent over $46 million in covid19 relief measures. She said those measures have helped more than 75,600 individuals and families. She also appealed to her fellow MPs to collect food-support cards for constituents who have been affected by the pandemic.
At a virtual news conference on Wednesday, Robinson-Regis said, “To date, the majority of MPs have collected and distributed cards to their constituents.”
But she added, “We wish to remind those who have not yet collected, to do so.”
She recalled the first batch of the cards were issued on March 23 to MPs “for distribution to families of children who are registered for the nation’s School Feeding Programme.”
The programme falls under the Education Ministry.
Robinson-Regis said, in that phase, “Each MP was given 50 cards to distribute to families who are in dire need of food during the covid19 pandemic.”
She added the cards which are being currently being distributed have been topped up for the next three months in the sum of $1,530.00 each.
Another batch of cards was issued on March 25.
“Effective April 2, 2020, MPs or their representatives received an additional batch of 100 cards each.”
The minister disclosed that a further 3,323 cards were expected to be delivered to MPs on April 14. She said the primary targets of the cards were the parents of children who are on the school feeding programme. MPs have been given lists, she said, and together with school principals in their constituencies “see who are the children who are most in need and we access to those families first.
“We go through the list to ensure we cover most, if not all of those families.”
MPs have been scheduling appointments for their constituents to distribute the cards. Should people from different constituencies approach them, Robinson-Regis said MPs direct those people to their own MPs.
She reiterated, “I am asking those MPs who have not yet collected to please collect your cards, because it is important for the distribution of these cards to these people.” She said the expenditure for school feeding is $12,357,810 while the expenditure for topping up existing food support clients is $17,144,100.
Robinson said 50 cards which were previously distributed to households in each constituency have already been topped up to the amount of $1,020.00. She said additional payments were made to people receiving food support for an initial period of three months. She said 25,101 people benefited and this expenditure was $11,198,250.
Expenditure on food support to parents with children registered under the school feeding programme was $12,357, 810. She added that 8,077 cards were distributed to MPs in this initiative.
Public assistance grant recipients received a top-up for three months. Robinson-Regis said 17,834 people benefited from this and the expenditure was $11,438,100.