The Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has announced a $1 million donation towards the Government’s PATH programme to specifically feed children in vulnerable inner-city communities in light of the presence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island.
Based on the recent school closure announcement made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, thousands of students are now at home and will not receive the benefit of the national school-feeding programme.
The intention is to enable the PATH programme to continue the feeding programme at home in order to attend to the nutritional needs of the children.
Jamaica’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed last week and the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 12 cases. The pandemic has spread to over 175,000 persons globally with over 6,000 deaths.
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge said SVL’s donation is timely as the government is ensuring that the vulnerable members of the public are taken care of while attempting to contain the local spread of the virus.
“We understand the needs of our children on PATH and the importance of ensuring that they continue to receive nutritious meals at this time. In times of crisis, we must all be our brother’s keepers and I want to thank SVL for partnering with the ministry in the best interest of our children,” Terrelonge said.
The state minister went on to implore other corporate companies to assist.
“For true equality in education to be attained, then all our children irrespective of social background must have equal access not only to schools but also to food. I am imploring more corporate Jamaicans to assist us to help the most vulnerable amongst us, our children.”
Deputy CEO of Shared Services and Chief Marketing Officer for the Supreme Ventures Group, Heather Goldson said the company’s response is an extension of its involvement in the community.
“Supreme has done quite a bit of work with at-risk youth over the years and we are very sensitive to the needs of those who are exposed from the drastic scaling down of available goods and services as a result of COVID-19. We wanted to make sure we jumped in and help the national effort and we decided that contributing to the efforts of maintaining a level of normalcy for these students who are among our most vulnerable would be the best response at this time,” she said.
The Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), which was started in 2001 by the Government of Jamaica, provides cash and bursary grants to the most needy and vulnerable in the society.