The Love All Serve All movement which has been feeding members of the socially displaced nightly for almost three years have ramped up efforts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in a project called “Operation: Ease the Pain.”
However, to continue their work, they need resources.
“It really started to feed the homeless in November 2017,” a core member of the group Kandace Bharath-Nahous said in an interview with Guardian Media at the group’s Port-of-Spain kitchen yesterday.
“In March when the entire COVID shutdown had taken place, we stopped temporarily for about a week…but then we realised that if we didn’t feed the homeless, they genuinely would not eat for days. Because of the programme, we’ve been interacting with a lot of people on the streets and they would come to us and say we haven’t eaten for three days.”
“It was because of that we said not only the homeless but the hungry people in and around Port-of-Spain needed the programme to continue,” she said.
Members of the socially displaced community are some of the most vulnerable during this time. That’s why the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services recently spent over $100,000 to refurbish the Riverside Plaza car park to shelter them through the pandemic.
However, officials explained that although the service was voluntary, many members of the community declined to access the shelter.
Bharath-Nahous’ husband, Paul Nahous is another core member of the movement. He said they began collecting donations of food items to also donate in hampers to families who were struggling economically due to the Stay at Home measures government was forced to implement to protect the country against the pandemic.
“In Trinidad, we took for granted how many people were one paycheck away from poverty…the country just went through one missed paycheck and people have nothing to eat and feed their children,” he said.
Preparing some 400 meals every night isn’t an easy task and demands-resources.
This is why Nahous said: “We’ll always need supplies to come in, we’ll always need raw items to cook, we always need hands to come and help to cook, help to distribute. In terms of the immediate operation ease the pain that’s going on, we need donations for hampers, any foodstuff- anything people could bring in to make hampers.”
Anyone willing to lend assistance can contact 321-7454/ 276-4422 or email [email protected]