National Meals Program: Hospitality sector keeps active and gives back
The Government of Saint Lucia continues its strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic which includes taking care of the most vulnerable in our society.
Hot meals prepared by chefs and cooks from hotels and restaurants are part of the new National Meals Program which was piloted on Easter Sunday.
The National Meals Program is part of the Social Stabilization Plan announced by Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet and is spearheaded by the Saint Lucia Hotel Tourism Association (SLHTA) together with the Ministry of Agriculture. The thrust of this project is the many farmers and fishers who will get a market for their produce during this time of uncertainty.
Chief Executive Officer of SLHTA Noorani Azeez expressed that this National Meals Program is an excellent example of Public and Private Sector collaboration, provides an opportunity for the hospitality industry to keep active and give back to the country.
Mr Azeez went on further: “The SLHTA reached out to hotels and restaurants which have since been closed to enlist their support to donate their time and resources, to literally cook and prepare the meals for distribution and consumption. We also costed the meals and provided the ministry with the necessary information regarding the procurement needs and the volume of ingredients.”
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) was responsible for logistics and dispatch and worked closely with the Ministry of Social Transformation in ensuring that the meals reached those in need.
Director of NEMO Dorine Gustave expressed her gratitude to all entities involved in ensuring that the Easter Sunday Meal Distribution was a success.
“The Saint Lucia Cadet Corps played an integral role at assisting NEMO for the distribution of meals and did a wonderful job. Fifteen hotels came together to provide the meals for the National Meals Program,” the NEMO Director noted. “We would like to thank Bay Gardens, Jacques, Sandals Grande, Serenity Vacations, Coco Palm, Windjammer, Landings, June’s Catering, Pink Papaya, Marigot Bay Resort, Rendezvous, Jade Mountain, Ladera Resort and Coconut Bay and all those who assisted especially the Saint Lucia Cadet Corps and the various people who assisted with distribution.”
This is just one of the initiatives of the Government has implemented to provide relief and to keep Saint Lucia’s economy going. This feeding program is expected to roll out into a daily feeding program.