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Registered dietician and manager of the National HIV/AIDS Food Bank, Stacia Whittaker (left) speaking, standing to her right is MC Lisa Bayley.

 
   

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Barbadians support food bank at ‘Love, Poetry and Song’ event

2/20/2012

The National HIV/AIDS Food Bank received a substantial boost in donations following the successful ‘Love, Poetry and Song’ event organised by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) to observe Love Safely Week.

There was standing room only at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, the Garrison, St. Michael on Saturday evening as artists such as Adrian Green, Azam, the ladies of Honey Jam Barbados, NexCyx and patrons turned out to support the event, bringing with them monetary and food donations.

Manager of the National HIV/AIDS Food Bank, Stacia Whittaker was pleased with the overwhelming response.

“This is a great initiative that the BGIS came up with. The response has been overwhelming. People have really brought the donations. The barrels were overflowing and had to be emptied several times. It tells me that people are being more sensitive to persons with needs, that they are willing to give and sacrifice. It shows that they understand that doing a small part helps,” Whittaker told the Barbados Advocate.

A number of individuals, schools, businesses and organisations also pledged to donate items such as rice, milk, bread and eggs to the Food Bank’s Adopt-A-Shelf programme.

Whittaker implored more Barbadians to come together and adopt a shelf since there is a need to keep the shelves replenished all year.

“We usually get a wonderful response in December and February but throughout the other months of the year, we struggle to keep our shelves and hampers full to supply our over 300 clients on a monthly basis,” said Whittaker.
Noting that the basic staples such as rice, peas, oats, barley and milk are always needed, she appealed to farmers and anyone else with a surplus of commodity to donate fruits, vegetables or ground provisions. 

“Please call us to find out more about how to get involved. There is even the option of opening an account with a wholesale company to avoid having to bring donations monthly to us. Some of us take it for granted but some people don’t get that basic nutrition which is important to help lessen some of the complications that come with HIV/AIDS.”

She added that nutrition counselling and education is also part of the programme. 

“We try to encourage persons and show them how to prepare basic meals with cooking classes. We teach them how to budget and how to shop on a small budget. We also counsel them on how to get that necessary nutrition if they have problems swallowing, diarrhoea, constipation...So we are hoping not to provide only food assistance but to provide skills to our clientele,” Whittaker explained.

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