As the economic crisis deepens due to the coronavirus pandemic Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC) donated 1,200 Budget Food Store coupons, collectively valued at $30,000, to help feed struggling families in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco. This second round of giving follows a distribution of 1,500 grocery store gift certificates in April. This time around the company earmarked 100 coupons to be split equally between police stations in Fox Hill and Elizabeth Estates, constituencies where the company has built close ties with officers of the law.
“Any token of appreciation awarded to an officer helps as an encouragement in recognition of their hard work and dedication to executing our mandate,” said Police Superintendent Kent Butler. As the virus spreads and unemployment numbers increase, the evidence suggests more people are going hungry. “We wanted to do our part to keep people fed. We recognize that some people faced delays in receiving their unemployment benefits while others might have already used up their savings. During extraordinary times ordinary people must step up,” said BSGC President Atario Mitchell. “At the same time, we wanted to express our gratitude to police officers who we, as a community, often take for granted.” To distribute the vouchers the company utilized civic organizations and community associations.
It is an efficient network, built upon mutual trust and respect, that has worked well through the years helping BSGC get resources, such as back-to-school supplies, to those who need it most. Mario Smith, past assistant governor of Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas East, accepted vouchers on behalf of the organization. “Rotary has a great partnership with Bahamas Striping, and we are on the ground within communities through our various clubs,” said Mr Smith. “Most clubs have their own feeding programs in addition to assisting with other feeding programs, like Lend a Hand. Rotary Bahamas Disaster Relief recently conducted a program over the past months targeting certain families in the community who needed food provisions. We were instrumental in making that happen through our partnerships. We know where the need exists because of our relationship with our community.” Throughout the pandemic, the 10-year-old Bahamas Striping has made significant donations to the country. In March, the company purchased thousands of masks, gloves and face shields, along with 200 hundred protective suits for the public health care system. In June and July, the company fed an estimated 400 families in Exuma. Food packages included a 10-pound bag of frozen chicken leg quarters, a five-pound bag of rice, corn, cream, canned tuna and Kraft macaroni and cheese. “We have had to dig deep to deploy more funds than we anticipated when we budgeted for this fiscal year,” said Dr Allen Albury, BSGC’s managing director. “As a nation, if we are to emerge from this once in a century pandemic with our economy intact, we cannot look to government alone. We must all do our part.”