President of the Supermarket Association (SATT) Rajiv Diptee, left, presents the supermarket of the year award to the winners Shamshad Ali and his wife Sheila during an award ceremony, Price Club Supermarket, Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas, on Saturday.

Price Club Director Shamshad Ali says the supermarket will commit a minimum of $500,000 to assist people who have been severely affected by COVID-19.

He was speaking at the company’s Wonder and Joy prize-giving ceremony for its customers at its compound, in Center Pointe Mall, Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas, Saturday.

Price Club Supermarket also received the People’s Choice Award for Independent Supermarket of the Year Award 2021 by the Supermarket Association of T&T (SATT).

Ali said, “For 2022, our goal is with the assistance of all the councillors of each of the 22 electoral districts in Chaguanas and Couva, to deliver assistance as needed to those who are identified as being severely affected by the current state of hardship.

“The Price Club shall continue to assist communities where it can. We shall commit a minimum of $500,000 to this project.

“COVID-19 has revealed that the poverty line is rising, those families who may seem not to be in need, but by the loss of that monthly paycheck, find themselves in a position where food is not available on their table.”

He said some people were asset rich but income poor, this was now exacerbated with the increasing food prices.

Ali revealed that local food production was on the rise, but there was a long way to go to achieve food independence on imported food.

President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce Richie Sookhai said when Price Club came in 1994, Ramsaran Street saw an upward trajectory in development.

He said this prosperity by businesses reflected what the daytime commerce of Chaguanas was and also what the possible night-time commerce could be like that of Ariapita Avenue.

Sookhai said with the help of all the different stakeholders in the community, he would like to see that materialise.

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said people had to make the decision if they wanted to remain healthy by eating fresh foods in season or highly processed foreign foods and be confronted by a variety of health issues.

Also present at the event were Supermarket Association of T&T (SATT) president Rajiv Diptee, Justice of the Peace and Alderman Chaguanas Borough Corporation Karran Nancoo and councillor Perseverance/Waterloo Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) Dubraj Persad.