National Food Distribution Task Force feeding thousands of people in need

More than 76,000 people have received assistance from the National Food Distribution Task Force (NFDTF) since the public private partnership was officially formed to provide emergency food relief to Bahamians and residents impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The National Food Distribution Task Force was created by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis to work in tandem with the Ministry of Social Services and local NGOs.

“It is a ground-breaking community-based partnership between the Government of The Bahamas and several local non-governmental organizations to ensure that those in need have access to food,” NFDTF chair, Mrs. Susan Larson, said today at a task force virtual media briefing.

The task force is delivering emergency food relief for 12 weeks (June 1 – August 31) through the distribution of food parcels and food vouchers. The parcels and vouchers are value engineered to assist a family of four for one week. 

The Government has committed to directly fund 85 percent of the program through the 2020-2021 budget of the Ministry of Social Services. The participating NGOs are committed to 15 percent through direct service, cash and in-kind donations.

The shared commitment represents a total of $18.8 million. Sixteen million dollars will be provided by the Government and the remaining $2.2 million by the participating NGOs.

In addition to the Department of Social Services, Task Force members include Lend a Hand Bahamas, Hands for Hunger, the Bahamas Feeding Network, Bahamas Red Cross, IDEA Relief, the Grand Bahama Food Task Force, and the One Eleuthera Foundation.

To coordinate outreach and food distribution, the NFDTF has divided The Bahamas into zones. Each Zone has a designated NGO leader. Zone leaders also work with supporting partners, including faith-based groups, civil society and other NGOs and other community feeding efforts.

“Task force members are committed to working with the community respectfully to distribute food fairly and without prejudice to those in need,” said Mrs. Larson.

Before the task force was officially formed, NGOs provided food assistance to more than 137,000 people affected by the COVID-19 crisis during the months of April and May, Mrs. Larson reported.

Mrs. Larson, who is a long-standing leader in Civil Society and a founding director of the Bahamas Strong organization and the Bahamas Hope Foundation, explained that the Task Force is built on existing models of success, leveraging off expertise and widespread networks.

To access assistance residents are required to register on to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

3For more information on the task force and how to register for emergency food relief email or visit the National Food Distribution Task Force Facebook page at Feed Bahamas.