Statement on Christmas Food Cards
The Minister of Social Development and Family Services, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis wishes to bring some much needed clarity to the subject of “The Christmas Food Cards” following highly inaccurate and misleading information placed in the public domain by the Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla.
The Christmas Food Card Distribution is an annual activity undertaken by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, in keeping with the spirit of caring and giving that the season of Christmas represents and has been conducted for the past ten years.
A total of 3,959 households benefitted from the distribution of Christmas food support from the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services as at the end of December 2019, as the Ministry sought to ensure that vulnerable families who are experiencing hardship and are unable to fully provide for the nutritional needs of their respective families were provided with the necessary support. Card delivery commenced on December 4th.
Cabinet agreed to the distribution of 4,100 Christmas Food Support Debit Cards (100 cards for each MP), valued at $550.00 each, to poor, indigent and vulnerable households throughout Trinidad and Tobago in December 2019 at a total cost of $2,255,000.00 inclusive of the cost of the cards. The funding for this initiative is met from the Food Support Vote under the Ministry of Finance. Further, Cabinet agreed that before any food support is given, each of the 41 Members of Parliament will be asked to provide the Minister of Social Development and Family Services with their list of needy families from their constituencies, not exceeding 100 families. Accordingly, MPs were asked to submit the names of up to one hundred needy families from within their constituency.
Representatives of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services were assigned to distribute the cards on specified days and times. All recipients were contacted by their respective MP Offices with information on distribution venues, dates and times.