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Sewa International TT volunteers load Christmas food packages for distribution to needy families at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas, yesterday.

CHARLES KONG SOO

Volunteers from Sewa International TT assembled 3,000 Christmas food packages for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas, yesterday.

President of the organisation Revan Teelucksingh said during its outreach programmes the group had identified people who “needed a little extra hand.”

He explained: “What we noticed was that there’re several families who traditionally do need help during this time but because of the pandemic and the fact that they work in the informal economy a lot of them have a reduced income. Taking care of the household before was okay with $7,000 to $8,000 combined from both parents to provide for three children’s needs.”

He said, however, with less economic activity occurring, it was hard for them to make ends meet.

Teelucksingh the 3,000 food packs will be loaded unto more than 70 vehicles for distribution throughout the country, including Tobago.

During yesterday’s exercise, Sewa volunteers observed strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols. There were markers on the floor, volunteers with their trolleys stood several feet apart and only one person handled items with gloves when restocking. The items were not on shelves, they came straight from the distributor, were the cleanest possible, had the longest expiry date and were placed directly in bags then loaded into the vehicles.

Teelucksingh appealed for public support as only half of the cost of the goods has so far been covered. He urged citizens to go to participating supermarkets to contribute to the worthy cause.