Food bank extending reach with $113k donation

| 24/11/2020 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Food Bank volunteers

(CNS): The local food bank will be extending its support to the local community beyond feeding those in immediate need after receiving a CI$113,000 donation. Naomi Law from the Cayman Food Bank said the charity will be expanding the services it offers to the community beyond food assistance in the face of growing and widening needs.

The cash has been given to the charity by the R3 Cayman Foundation, the fund established with money from Ken Dart to help mitigate the fallout from the pandemic, which has been raising money in the wider private sector. This latest donation came from Cayman Finance Cares, the charity arm of Cayman Finance, and has gone straight to the food bank.

“We are very grateful for the generous donations from both Cayman Finance and R3,” said Law, the charity’s fundraising director. “The Cayman Food Bank has been working tirelessly to help those in need in our community’s from before COVID hit. Since COVID has impacted our communities on island, we are seeing a large increase in the needs presented.

Law said that with this growing and changing need, the non-profit is committed to setting aside some of the cash to help those with additional needs beyond food.

“We will maintain our current support to the community with food assistance as well. On a case by case basis, our board is evaluating all requests for additional temporary support. We will continue do this until these specific funds are exhausted or until additional funds earmarked for these purposes are raised,” she said.

R3 Chairman Bryan Hunter said, “This donation will matched by the Kenneth B. Dart Foundation for an additional CI$113,000 that the Readiness, Relief and Recovery Committees will distribute to impactful organisations and projects in our community.”

When the fund was created with the first CI$1 million from Dart, the islands’ wealthiest investor and landowner had committed to matching donations from others in the private sector up to $4 million.

Initially the R3 foundation received pledges of around CI$2 million in addition to the seed money, which meant the charity had access to around $5 million. However it is not clear how much of that $2 million private sector commitment has actually converted into hard cash.

So far the foundation has given out an estimated CI$650,000 with this latest donation. CNS has contacted officials at the foundation in order to establish the exact figure and how much has been pledged to date.

R3 intends to support the community as it emerges from the pandemic, and Woody Foster, who chairs the arm of the foundation dealing with relief, said it is working to better understand how it has impacted the local community.

“Early on in the pandemic the need for food relief was very apparent but now, as more unemployed workers have left the country, a different picture is emerging,” he said. “We understand the current economic conditions have exacerbated challenges for families and individuals who were already struggling before the borders closed, and one of our main priorities now is supporting charities providing utility relief,” Foster explained.

“Beyond the economic effects, we are also developing a better understanding of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 in terms of mental health, domestic violence and education in our community,” he added.

R3 is accepting grant applications from local non-profit organisations or those exempted from non-profit status under current legislation.

Eligible organisations with projects related to readiness, relief or recovery, should apply for funding using a short application available on the R3 website.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What have the churches given?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many clients are in genuine need and how many are simply products of the $6 an hour minimum wage? Let’s see the breakdown

  3. Tracy says:

    Please all establishments please donate to this cause. We have people starving some even begging food and bus money. Some to proud to ask. Please in this time help if you can

    • Joe B says:

      Dart stepped up. Will starving Caymanians eat his food? CIG is too busy spending money in a way that makes them money so you won’t see any giveaways there. The Cayman economy is just starting it’s big shutdown with no plans to reopen. If you need to work to live you might want to consider dusting off that British passport and moving to one of the many places that still have a functioning economy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sadly the list of people who require the Food Bank services may be growing soon. This would be due to the use of taxpayer funds to directly assist gov’t favored businesses through the CICBD MSME Grant Phase II programme. Then the subjectively awarded assistance could provide the “favorite” business a competitive advantage to be used to assist in closing competing “unfavored” Caymanian businesses. If the gov’t is funding businesses why are they chosing favorites? If programmes are necessary why not use criteria based on gov’t objectives, budgets and controls and provide funds to all who meet the criteria?

    • Anonymous says:

      Shame on Cayman that food banks even exist in such a wealthy county. Start paying direct income tax to support your own. People should not have to rely on handouts and make the rich feel good.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes please. Our pension money will be done after Christmas. What are we that are not workjng going to do??

  6. anon says:

    I’m waiting for all the comments from the Dart haters/baiters.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. How dare he be so generous?

      • Anonymous says:

        Generous would be if he “donated” the equal amount to or even half of what he has been given in concessions from our government since he started developing here. Just for Kimpton alone (infrastructure and low cost housing fund fees payable through building permits) thats likely double what he started his generous recovery fund with.

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