Greedy persons raid food boxes for the needy
A humanitarian effort to provide food for less fortunate Jamaicans by way of food donation boxes is being challenged by unconscionable persons who seek to raid them without considering the needs of others.
The initiative, spearheaded by De-Andrea Jackson and Kyle Reynolds, was born last year due to the desire to feed families whose breadwinners may have lost their jobs due to the novel coronavirus.
"It was an idea that I had and I ran it by Kyle when the pandemic hit. I said it would be perfect because, you know, people are losing their jobs, they don't have money. So we decided to try and make it happen," Jackson said.
The Free Likkle Cupboard has been a life-saver for many persons who have been able to get food items from the drop boxes. Reynolds and Jackson said that the feedback has been positive, but noted that they are facing a challenge with persons who take from the boxes and do not replenish the supplies.
"We are finding that people are just taking and not giving back. Some of the issues we have are that persons raid the boxes, and take all of it, or they take more than they are giving. The boxes are really for use in case of emergency. Like if you don't have no money to feed your baby, you can take a bag of rice or tin mackerel, but what persons are doing is, they are taking everything. We have seen where a truck driver -- and we may not know his situation -- he may come and take the entire cupboard," they said.
"We really would love to have regular donations and that is hard. We will have a week where there are a few donations, but we want more donations. We want to get the word out more and I guess the more cupboards you put out, the more people will know about it, so we are going to get more signage for persons to know more about what the movement is about," Jackson said.
They told THE WEEKEND STAR that they are inviting members of the public to assist with building the next 'likkle cupboard'.
The first 'The Free Likkle Cupboard' box was placed at 37 Shortwood Road in St Andrew, at Irie Racing Moto. The initiative has grown to three additional locations over the past 10 months, with boxes placed at Raggamuffin Cafe on Lady Musgrave Road, the Community Health and Psychiatry Clinic at the University of the West Indies, Mona; and Acai Cafe in Long Bay, Portland.
"We are planning on having a fundraiser to get money for more boxes. The real idea of this project is to take a little and give back some. It feels good to be giving back but we want more, we want more boxes around to help more people. There are people who really need the help," Reynolds pleaded.
There are plans to construct drop-off food donation boxes in downtown Kingston and Montego Bay, St James.
"It takes a while because we are working with various groups and that makes it easier, because we have someone to help us maintain and look out for it. You can't just put it anywhere that no one will take responsibility for it, because it will always be empty, and if you get a big donation, it will always be empty, so you need an establishment to keep an eye on it, but we are slowly going around," Reynolds shared.