By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE chairwoman of the National Food Distribution Task Force has defended the “heroic” efforts of various partner NGOs and their workers in the face of “shameful” social media attacks.
In a statement issued yesterday, Susan Larson noted that phase one of the emergency initiative ended on October 31 while phase two—which has a tightened focus on the “most vulnerable”— is underway.
The criteria for assistance in this regard includes unemployment with no or low benefits, chronic illnesses, infants and young children, elderly, housebound and those impacted by natural disasters (such as Hurricane Dorian).
Mrs. Larson noted how sensitive an issue it is to determine someone’s vulnerability.
“The task force applied internationally recognised criteria to the process and used a weighting system to calculate vulnerability levels objectively,” she said. “But never once have we lost sight of basic humanitarian concerns. It is a truly terrible thing not to have enough food to feed your family. The sharpened focus enables us to continue to assist those whose level of food security has not returned to pre-COVID levels.”
She also said the task force is “immeasurably grateful” to the NGO workers and volunteers who have “devoted more than 26 weeks of non-stop effort to assisting the most vulnerable in our communities” adding that many of them work six and seven days a week.
“The depth of their commitment to this cause is inspiring. Their work has often been thankless. The nation owes them a huge debt of gratitude,” Mrs. Larson said.
“It is shameful that certain people have used social media to attack the heroic efforts of our NGOs and their workers and volunteers at this time. The task force has worked tirelessly to ensure its efforts have been carried out transparently and equitably for all and every member of the task force is incredibly proud of what has been achieved.” Read more >>