SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) – The St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation’s emergency food distribution drive has come to an end with the foundation helping to put food on the table for thousands of persons in need in the community over the past three weeks.
The emergency food distribution drive ended on Saturday, September 12, when the foundation completed the distribution of its target of 3,500 food packages.
The emergency food distribution drive began on Friday, August 21. A total of 362 volunteers sacrificed their personal time to help with the initiative over a 23-day period. A total of 3,500 families received food packages and the items are estimated to have benefited a total of 10,236 family members. Of the 3,500 packages that were distributed, 3,265 were given out at Tzu Chi’s location on the L.B. Scott Road and 235 were delivered to seniors and families in difficult circumstances.
During the 23-day activity, recipients took the opportunity to donate a total of $3,748.53 to help Tzu Chi Foundation continue its benevolent work in the community and help more persons who are in need.
Recipients were very thankful for the assistance they received. One recipient from Dutch Quarter who gave his name as Steven said the process to obtain the food package was quick and uneventful. He said the foundation is doing a great job in helping persons in need on the island and for this he is grateful.
Another recipient said the COVID-19 crisis has affected many persons and it’s good to see Tzu Chi assisting persons irrespective of their race and nationality. He called on others to use Tzu Chi as an example.
Another recipient said she has been residing in St. Maarten for the past 21 years and she is grateful to receive assistance as many persons are now unemployed as a result of COVID-19.
Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung said she is extremely grateful and deeply thankful to all the volunteers who took time out of their schedules non-stop over the 23-day period to assist in the event. Some volunteers packed the food packages, while others pooled their efforts to set up the distribution by calling recipients, signing them in, executing the registration, welcoming recipients, ensuring that everyone sanitized their hands and maintained social distancing, amongst other things. Cheung said the Tzu Chi Foundation highly appreciates the cooperation of volunteers.
She said while the Corona virus COVID-19 is keeping persons apart from each other, the love from Tzu Chi volunteers has no boundaries.
Tzu Chi will arrange its next relief at the end of November or the beginning of December depending on the arrival date of the 11th rice container from Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Taiwan.
Persons who have been registered with Tzu Chi with their Identification Card or passport and phone number, will be called to go for a food package, if their situation remains unchanged.