Prime Minister Minnis thanks NGOs working with Government on Food Distribution Task Force as program prepares for Phase 2

Today Prime Minister Minnis visited the Lend-a-Hand, Bahamas Red Cross and Hands for Hunger feeding agencies as the NGOs prepare to start Phase 2 of the Government’s national food distribution program.

The Prime Minister visited the Bahamas Feeding Network last week and on Friday completed site visits to the New Providence-based agencies working directly with the Government on the National Food Distribution Task Force.

Through the distribution of food packages and vouchers, the Task Force has been feeding thousands of Bahamian families each week who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Food Distribution Task Force was created by Prime Minister Minnis to work in tandem with the Ministry of Social Services and local NGOs in a ground-breaking partnership.

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

As part of the first phase of the emergency food assistance program, the Government funded 85 per cent through a contribution of $16 million. The participating NGOs funded the remaining $2.2 million. The Government will contribute an additional $10 million toward the second phase of the program.

To coordinate outreach and food distribution, the Task Force 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.

Prime Minister Minnis thanked the agencies and its volunteers who have been working with the Government since 1 July 2020 to provide emergency food assistance to those in need. The Prime Minister also congratulated them on their work.

“Thank you for everything that you are doing to help provide food assistance to those in need throughout The Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister. “I commend you for your contribution. This is one of the largest ever public/private social care initiatives in the history of our country.”

Starting next week, the Food Task Force will begin Phase 2 of its emergency food assistance program which will run through the end of the year.