While chaos reigned during Inshan Ishmael’s hamper distribution in Chaguanas on Friday, another charitable foundation successfully managed to distribute over 400 hampers to the poor without violating social distancing regulations.
Director of the ASH-NAD Foundation Ashmead Ali said he chose not to advertise the hamper distribution as he knew this would cause masses to gather outside the mosque at Mucurapo Street, San Fernando.
“We did not want to cause a crowd so we did not advertise. What we did was call all the councillors of the San Fernando City Corporation and asked them to supply a list of 40 families who were in need of a food hamper. Then we called them at a specific time. We asked the Corporation for four officers to assist in maintaining social distancing and this morning everyone came in an orderly fashion and collected their hampers,” Ali said.
Within 45 minutes, all 410 hampers were distributed outside the San Fernando Jama masjid. Ali said the hampers contained tinned food, dry goods, cereals, Oasis water and Chubby soft drinks. Ali said since the COVID restrictions were imposed, many families were suffering.
“Most of the people we received calls from were single mothers who were finding it hard to buy food for their children,” Ali said. With the assistance of his wife Nadeira Khan, Ali said he managed to contact corporate sponsors and prepare the hampers.
Saying food relief was not coming fast enough from officials, Ali said, “We decided that we must reach out to the poor and the best way to do that is to contact the councillors who are on the ground and who could identify vulnerable families.”
He said another round of hampers will be distributed at the Princes Town Regional Corporation on Monday and Tuesday next week.
So far hundreds of hampers have also been distributed at mosques around the country for Zakat cases.
Ali said he wanted Corporate T&T to assist in contributing food supplies for needy families.
“There is a saying that I always use. We can all wake up hungry but we should never go to sleep hungry,” Ali added.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the ASH-NAD food drive can contact Ali at 680-0130.