Malta gives back to Food For The Poor beneficiaries


August 30, 2017
Contributed Imru James (left) poses with five-year-old Akelia Brown (second left), seven-year-old Atreado Brown (second right) and their mother Kaysha Gordon.

Nadine Collins, a single mother from St Catherine, was halfway through her back-to-school shopping, wondering how she would afford the rest of her eighth grader's supplies when her prayers were answered.

She was relieved to get a call from Malta offering her a back-to- school package, including a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab.

"It's just me and my son," said Collins, who hails from the farming community of Linstead. "Right now he hasn't received all of his stuff. It's a burden because I have to get uniforms, bags, shoes and still have to maintain food supplies at home, so this prize from Malta eases a burden."

Collins is one of 10 recipients of back-to-school packages, courtesy of Malta, which collaborated with the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation and Kingston Bookshop (KB).

The packages are valued at approximately $350,000.

"Earlier this year, the foundation partnered with Food for The Poor to provide 10 houses for these families. So when Malta approached us with the idea to do something more for them we didn't hesitate," said Garth Williams, Red Stripe's sustainability manager.

Other recipients at the recent handover, hosted at KB's new Portmore location, included Kaysha Gordon, who has a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter; Sachane Drysdale and her three-year-old daughter; and Evadney Beckford, who was accompanied by her 16-year-old son.

Collins, like many of the other parents, does not currently have Internet access at home but looks forward to getting it so that her son Ramone can advance his education.


"I am grateful for the tablet because my son really wants to learn Spanish and French, so I want to put Internet on it so he can download the apps and study," said Collins. "His teachers say he can do far better, he just has to focus. So with this tablet and the supplies he has no excuse not to focus and study."

In addition to a seven-inch Samsung tablet, each package includes a $5,000 book voucher, courtesy of KB.

"Giving back to families who need assistance gives you a feeling that is a bit hard to describe you have to do it to understand it," said Shauna Fuller Clarke, KB's director of IT and special projects.

The giveaways are the result of a broader partnership between the entities, spearheaded by Malta, which is currently running a Back-to-School Scratch and Win Sweepstakes.

"It was a great honour to be able to assist these families prepare for back to school, and we look forward to helping more persons through our Malta competition," said Imru James, brand manager for Stouts and Malta at Red Stripe.

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