Red Cross launches voucher programme

The Red Cross food voucher. 

SIMPSON BAY–The Red Cross is launching a food voucher programme that will benefit 3,250 families in St. Maarten.

  Red Cross is working with community councils to identify those most in need. Eligible families will receive four vouchers worth a total of NAf. 600 over November and December.
  “People are able to recover faster from disaster when they are empowered to make decisions for themselves and their families,” said Pam Riley, who heads up the hurricane response for the Netherlands Red Cross.    
  “Instead of distributing similar packages to families in need, these vouchers will allow people to decide for themselves their most critical needs.”

  Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, landed a direct hit on St. Maarten on September 6, affecting, damaging or destroying more than 90 per cent of buildings, leaving many families homeless. 
  In the two months following, as water and electricity have been brought back online, the Red Cross St. Maarten has distributed emergency food and water supplies, as well as tarpaulins, to thousands of people affected by the storm.
  The food vouchers are a continuation of that support.
  As many people have been unable to return to work since Hurricane Irma, “These vouchers will help ease the stress and worry many parents have of how they are going to feed their children, and instead allow them to focus on rebuilding,” said Riley.
  The Red Cross food voucher programme meets the same criteria as the Government food voucher programme and the Red Cross is working with Government to prevent duplication of services.

  The vouchers will be distributed over a period of four weeks across Cay Bay, Cay Hill, Cole Bay, Dutch Quarter, Fort Willem, Middle Region, Over the Bank, St. Peters, and Sucker Garden. They can be redeemed at Le Grand Marché, Prime Distributors, Fairway Mark It (formerly Sang’s), and Sunny Foods and can be used to purchase any items except tobacco and alcohol.

  Supermarkets will not give any refund or cash back. The amount spent over the value of the voucher needs to be covered by the purchaser.
  The voucher programme will be rolled out over a period of four weeks, so the areas named will not receive vouchers at the same time. If people want to have more information on their area, they can speak with their community council representatives or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Source: The Daily Herald