The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) is donating 1,000 loaves of bread to Tobago families every week as part of its Loaves of Love initiative and it is hoping to soon increase the delivery.
One of the party’s deputy leaders, Farley Augustine, explained the initiative on CNC3’s Morning Brew.
He told host Soyini Grey it started a few days ago to help feed people who lost jobs and substantial portions of their incomes because of COVID-19.
He said bread is a staple in most Tobago households, but many people could not afford it anymore.
“We have found that several of our families are falling on their luck. Many of us take for granted simple things we still have access to without realising many of our neighbours don’t have access to them. A loaf of bread is the simplest thing we can add to our existing hampers,” Augustine said.
He reminded that the tourism sector, which is the second largest employer in Tobago, took a beating since March 2020 when the country’s international border closed, leading to thousands of workers being laid off.
Augustine added that domestic travel is also down to a minimum as only essential travel is permitted.
“Before 2020, tourism was already on the decline in Tobago by some 11 per cent…then COVID came,” Augustine said.
The PDP’s area representative for Parlatuvier, L’Anse Fourmi, and Speyside said in his district, workers from Blue Waters Inn, Jemma’s Treehouse Restaurant, and other tourism-type establishments are at home, without incomes.
He said the PDP is seeking to increase its delivery to more than 1,000 loaves per week. This decision came after assessing the needs of Tobago residents.
Asked how the party is funding the initiative, Augustine said it’s a community effort fueled by corporate and ordinary citizens donating funds, time, and labour.
“It’s all donations. We seek to get the donations a week ahead. People and businesses have been going to supermarkets around the island and paying for the items, and we pick them up. Bakers are donating their services for free, once per day.”
He said more donations are needed to keep the effort going.
To get involved in the Loaves of Love initiative, people can call 752-3463, Augustine said.