Social services providers from the Department of Social Services, Urban Renewal, the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, collaborated with Bimini Administrator Cleola Pinder to make good on the government’s promise of the delivery of 600 food vouchers to residents of Bimini ahead of the “complete lockdown” that took effect on that island beginning Monday, May 18.
Local government practitioners on-island were also involved in the process.
Team members on New Providence collaborated with colleagues on the ground on Bimini, as well as Pinder, to facilitate the delivery of the food vouchers, in addition to care packages, in order to ensure that residents in need had the necessary resources to purchase food prior to the start of the lockdown.
The deliveries also ensured that regular clients of the Department of Social Services, who possess Bank of The Bahamas pre-paid Visa cards, received assistance as cards are uploaded at month’s end.
Essential care volunteers also distributed 185 bags of fruits to senior citizens residing on the island. Those fruit bags consisted of bananas, oranges, grapes, apples and grapefruits.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the two-week lockdown, which will end at midnight, Saturday, May 30, would be implemented “to slow and control” the community spread of COVID-19 on that island.
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Frankie Campbell applauded the collaborative effort.
“You would see that in the first instance, the Department of Social Services was named as an essential service and then later, it was expanded to the entire ministry. The reason for that is because we work as a team; it is one ministry and in order for any one department to be completely successful, we rely on the partnership of the other departments and divisions within the ministry and our wider community,” Campbell said.
“The collaboration between Urban Renewal and the Department of Social Services in assisting the residents of Bimini is nothing strange, nothing new and is something that has been ongoing here in New Providence and some of the other islands. We are one ministry, one team, working together to support each other.”
Campbell said it was important to ensure clients of the Visa card also received assistance ahead of the lockdown.
“With regards to those clients who utilize the Bank of The Bahamas’ pre-paid Visa cards, we realized that those cards aren’t uploaded until the end of the month and so even though those persons had something coming, it was important for them to be included in the assistance now, in light of the lockdown,” Campbell added.