(Second left) Stacia Whittaker, Manager of the Food Bank with the items and the members of the marketing and communications team from left Diana Leacock, Sam Brathwaite, Samantha Suttle, Shantelle Griffith, Maria Boyce and Debra King.
HIV/AIDS Food bank gets boost
The Christmas hampers prepared for persons affected by HIV/AIDS will had a healthy boost with the addition of some gift certificates for fruit and vegetables.
Employees in a number of departments at CIBC FirstCaribbean decided to pool their resources and live out the true meaning of Christmas by giving to those less fortunate. In 2019, they chose to assist the children of the Charles F Broome Special Unit and last year, they chose the HIV/AIDS Food Bank.
Manager of the Food Bank Stacia Whittaker in expressing thanks and explaining why they needed the assistance said they normally give out over 315 hampers monthly. However she said 2020 had been a challenging one finding supplies for all the people on their list of clients and since they feed both individuals and families, it was even more challenging with children being at home more and having to be fed.
She further explained that a number of the HIV/AIDS patients are now presenting with further complications like cancer and diabetes, sometimes as a result of other difficulties due to their condition.
The fact that patients are usually on multiple medications and must not take those meds on an empty stomach presents its own complications for them, as they must eat to take the meds.
She added that she was grateful to CIBC FirstCaribbean for the support and to the other businesses who had done similar for the season because the team at the food bank liked to make the hampers a little more festive at this time. The addition of the fruit and veg certificates were even more appreciated as they try to get the patients who are on meds to eat healthy and it is sometimes difficult to do so.
Ms. Maria Boyce, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Associate Director Client and Employee Engagement, on handing over the supplies and certificates said that it was a collaborative effort with the Marketing, Communications, Culture and Engagement and Strategy teams who wanted ‘to give back with a purpose’.