The COVID-19 pandemic has led to loss of income and employment, restriction of movement, downscaling of activities, children being home from school and less scope for “hustling”. As a result, Jamaicans have become more vulnerable to food insecurity.  With this stark awareness, Caribbean Cement Company Limited has included in its COVID-19 relief programme, the donation of food items valued at two million dollars, to communities close to the company’s plants and quarries in St. Andrew, Kingston, and Clarendon.

“Our employees are very socially aware and encouraged the donation of food supplies in response to the economic impact being experienced by families in our communities. Our team worked collaboratively to decide on the basic supplies and through established community organisations to reach vulnerable persons,” said Klao Bell-Lewis Manager,  Communications and Community Outreach Carib Cement.

The supplies, which will be of benefit more than 300 families, consist of basic items such as rice, sugar, flour, milk, corned beef, sardines, cooking oil, toilet tissue and bath soap. Additionally, 1500 bottles of hand soaps and 1500 bottles of sanitisers, now essential items for personal protection of COVID, were also distributed.

This latest initiative follows interventions by the company since March, which are valued at more than $11 million. These include support to front-line workers of surgical gloves, thermometers and N95 masks through the Ministry of Health and hand sanitisers and soaps to community groups. To promote safety in communities and micro-entrepreneurship, ten sewing machines and bales of cotton were donated to women in five communities to start mask making projects. Further, public spaces in the cities of Kingston and Montego Bay were cleaned and sanitised in partnership with the municipal authorities and Jamaica Pre-Mix Company Limited.

Yago Castro, General Manager of Carib Cement with Fatima Muwwakkil of the Eleven Miles Youth In Action group located in Bull Bay, St. Andrew
Yago Castro, GM with Oswald Service, president of the Rockfort Development Council, located in East Kingston