As the economic implications of the global COVID-19 pandemic begin to materialize, farmers who depend on the tourist industry to buy their produce, at-risk students who depend on PATH lunches for a daily meal, micro and small enterprises (MSEs) who face restricted hours and business closure, are among the vulnerable groups facing severe hardships.
In response, the LASCO Chin Foundation (LCF), supported by the Lasco Affiliated companies and partners are providing care packages to these groups to assist them through this difficult period. Recognizing the importance of food security and need to support farmers, the care packages include farm produce, providing not only nutritional value for recipients but also a lifeline to farmers who are hurting from hotel closures and the general economic downturn. The other beneficiaries are mainly at-risk students from the Mountain View community who are part of the LCF’s Sustainable Socio-Economic Intervention (SSI) programme as well as at-risk youth entrepreneurs and other micro/small business owners who are part of the SSI Entrepreneurship programme. Working in collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), members of the special needs community were recent beneficiaries.
The Foundation’s CEO, Prof Rosalea Hamilton, highlights the importance of collaboration and partnership at this time to enhance the scale and effectiveness of the support, especially to the most vulnerable groups. She noted: “We must work together and help each other at this time. We are encouraging those we give to share what they have received with others in the spirit of Ubuntu. The COVID-19 pandemic is a profound lesson about our interconnectedness as human beings and why we must care for each other and love each other.”
The LASCO Chin Foundation is currently collaborating with the JP Tropical Group, Operation Save Jamaica, Sandals Foundation, JWN Foundation, the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network (JDTAN), Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (UJAA), American Friends of Jamaica, among others, in seeking to get care packages and other forms of assistance to the most vulnerable groups.