200 fed at Castries town hall.
Ten months ago in his acceptance speech as incoming president of the Rotary Club of St.Lucia Chester Hinksonexhorted his colleagues to do more to feed the hungry in St Lucia, and not just once a year at Christmas
Last week, the Club began its response to that call by feeding some 200 less fortunate and homeless persons at the Castries Town Hall, in what it hopes will be the beginning of a project by the Club to feed the hungry on a more regular basis.
Hinkson has held discussions about a feeding programme with Harold DalsonMinister forSocial Transformation.
“In addition to the feeding, we have introduced a clothing section where we invite the people to choose two pieces of clothing just to ensure everyone at the lunch goes home with something”, says Carole Eleuthere-Jn.Marie, public relations officer of the club said.
Asked whether the RotaryClubcan sustain this feeding programme throughout the year Eleuthere-Jn Marie said: “Knowing that this project is near and dear to the president’s heart, I know our next scheduledprogramme is on the 2nd January.But who knows, he might be able to find a way to do another feeding before then”.
Hinkson has said there is enough money in the Rotary account for it to take up this challenge twice a year, or quarterly if feasible. He added: “Call it Rotary Thanksgiving Day. I see too many people in St. Lucia eating out of garbage bins daily. Our responsibility is not only to feed them, but to have our voices heard as caring citizens determined to make a difference– to have these people off the streets. While we are not a political organization, there is nothing in our constitution or by-laws that says we cannot enter into dialogue with the Minister of Transformation to provide moral, empathetic and monetary support to our marginalized St. Lucian brothers and sisters”.
The Rotary president added: “Poverty in my view is like slavery. There is enough in this country, St. Lucia, the most beautiful in the world for all of our needs, but not enough for all our greed. So please take heed my friends– if we do not bring our wealth whatever measure that is, to the poor, they will bring their poverty to our door steps. I appreciate that some of these affected people are mentally challenged; some are indigent, some homeless, some unemployed, some unemployable and some darn right lazy. We must begin to differentiate their needs. I will continue to say however, that while all of us cannot do everything each one of us can do something”.
By Marius Modeste