The Lions Club of Antigua was selected by the Ministry of Agriculture as one of the ‘Food Heroes’ for World Food Day 2020 and its President Desiree` Edwards said that the organization was delighted to be a part of this important recognition, and the organization will continue to do its part to assist the less fortunate in society.
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Lions club has been partnering with the Jumby Bay Home Owners` Association to provide food packages to persons who have been impacted by COVID.
“So they may have lost their jobs, they are unemployed and we recognized that they are many persons now who are vulnerable and so these food packages have come in very handy to ease the stress of being unemployed.”
Edwards noted that providing food for these and other groups of persons helps to bring peace of mind to those in need.
“In terms of food security, we are happy that the packages include not just dry goods but also produce, so persons can get a substantial meal in addition to the dry goods that are in the packages,” Edwards stated.
She gave kudos to Principal of St. Anthony’s Joann Callias and her team for providing the space to pack the large number of bags in preparation for distribution which takes place at the Lions Den.
The Lions Club of Antigua started way back in 1968 and the organization celebrates its 52nd anniversary this month.
Edwards said that the journey has been long one but the organization has grown from strength to strength over the years.
The Lions Club’s president also lauded the various other entities that have been partnering with them over the years in the food distribution initiative
“We have our hot meal programme which we do with the Zion Church of God, where we deliver hot meals on a Wednesday to senior citizens. This has been going on for over 25 years.”
She continued ,“we also do food package distribution of groceries at our installation and our anniversary, so each year at our installation and anniversary and a couple of times throughout the year, we would get together and provide bags of groceries to persons in need. It’s so important for persons to have food security and so that is our contribution to it.”
Gail Henry-Lewis, Chairperson of the Health, Wellness and Social Services Committee noted that the members of the Lions Club are engaged on a Saturday morning twice per month, to pack six (6) hundred packages for families throughout Antigua and Barbuda.
Henry-Lewis explains how these packages are distributed.
“In every community we touch families there. Depending on the numbers in the household, we make allotted packages; some may get one package depending on the number in the household and some may get four or five packages.”
Among the Groups that the Lions Club collaborates with in providing assistance to those in need include the Antigua and Barbuda Pensioners Association, LIAT and the Pan Association.
Edwards said that she is touched with the positive feedback being received from recipients.
The Antigua Lions Club in the meantime, has a number of timely initiatives up its sleeve to include the setting up of a Community Garden as a means of seeking to get more people into the whole concept of being aware food security.
The club also used the opportunity to invite the general to support its drive-through Thanksgiving Dinner which comes up next month.
The Antigua Lions Club functions under the theme, “Lions in service, Caring for our people, our Community and our Environment.”
Their Motto is “We Serve.”