St Ann PC Feeding Programme A Success

ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:PUBLIC ORGANISATIONS and officials are often criticised for not doing enough for the community. However, sometimes they may do some good deeds that never get noticed.

It may come as a surprise to many, therefore, that the St Ann Parish Council has been feeding homeless people in St Ann's Bay for several years, more than a decade, in fact.

"I've been working here more than 10 years so it's more than 10 years this has been going on," Simone Samuels-Douse told Rural Xpress.

Samuels-Douse's main responsibility at the council is to prepare meals for the homeless people.

Every day, Monday to Friday around midday, homeless men and women turn up at the kitchen on the ground floor of the parish council building and collect their lunch and leave.

"Everyday, we have a different menu," Samuels-Douse explained. "Sometimes we might give them corned beef and macaroni, sometimes chicken back or maybe chicken foot, or it might be salt fish. Usually, we cook white rice or rice and peas or dumplings."

"Sometimes, we might have more than 20 persons coming for lunch. Sometimes, you see people you don't even know, you're seeing them for the first time, but they come and we serve them."

For Samuels-Douse, cooking for the homeless is more than just a job, it's an experience that she thoroughly appreciates.

"I don't mind cooking for them," she stated. "I wish I did have it so I could help them more." And she is appealing for help for the street people.

"If anybody is out there who wants to contribute, they can go ahead and do so," she urged.

Chairman of the council, Mayor Desmond Gilmore, said the feeding programme is something that the council has been doing for an extended period.

He said the council is seeking to broaden the programme by establishing a rest stop for street people, but efforts have hit a snag.