Nirmal Singh, right, receives a hamper from San Fernando West Secondary School teacher Hannah Bholaramsingh. Looking on is SFWSS Principal Ronald Mootoo.

San Fernando West Secondary school teachers distributed 35 food hampers and kitchen garden starter kits to specially selected parents on Wednesday.

Principal Ronald Mootoo said the hamper distribution usually takes place in December but because of COVID-19 hardship, the school decided to come together to assist needy families.

Mootoo said many of the recipients were single parents who needed the extra support. He commended teachers for taking the time out to assist.

“This morning’s initiative is run by the school. We have set up a special fund in the school out of which we will give back to our students. A number of students and parents have reached out indicating the hardships they are facing. We approached sponsors and NGO’s and today we are distributing 35 hampers,” Mootoo said.

He noted that a further 30 hampers will be organised soon which would bring to 100 the number of hampers distributed since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Food and Nutrition teacher Farah Harrison said apart from the food hampers, the kitchen garden starter kit was also distributed so that parents and students could begin to grow their own food.

“This is the first time we have distributed a kitchen garden starter kits. These kits will allow them to have an additional source of fresh produce. The students will learn the benefits of dedication and hard work. It can also become an income generator for the family,” Harrison said.

One of the recipients Nirmal Singh said he was grateful for the extra support.

He said his daughter was a single parent and since COVID-19, she has not been working.

“I am a pensioner but I try my best to assist. I will plant these seedlings as soon I go home,” he said.

Among those contributing to the hamper donation were the Roman Catholic Church and several corporate sponsors.