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Feb 9, 2017

Ride Across Belize Donates to Feeding Programs

Today, eight feeding programs received cheques from the Social Security Board under its annual Ride Across Belize program. The funds collected during the 2016 Ride will be used to feed underprivileged children across the country.  A little over fifty thousand dollars was handed over today among the recipients – those monies represent funds collected and matched by the S.S.B. Board.  Since the initiative started in 2004 – today’s recipients represent the most recipients to receive funding for the Ride Across Belize program. News Five was at today’s handing over ceremony where we spoke with the S.S.B. and one of the recipients:

 

Chandra Cansino, General Manager, Policy and Programs, S.S.B.

“We raised funds for eight feeding programs across Belize; from Corozal to Toledo. And today we had the pleasure of handing over those funds to those recipients.”

 

Chandra Cansino

Reporter

“What was the value of those funds collected?”

 

Chandra Cansino

“The value of the funds was approximately fifty-one thousand dollars. We divided that by eight, so each recipient got approximately six thousand dollars.”

 

Reporter

“Now talk to us about how the staff and management of SSB managed to fundraise this amount?”

 

Chandra Cansino

“Well, the fundraising efforts are generally by request to the business community and by really the efforts of the staff themselves who would do their raffles and various fundraising efforts at the branch offices across the country; so those are basically the ways we raise funds. And then we have the board that matches each – that matches the funds dollar for dollar up to twenty five thousand dollars – which is a very big help, so the board does contribute to the ride as well.”

 

Reporter

“How were the feeding programs selected for these donation?”

 

Chandra Cansino

“Last year we got inspired by – we gave to the St Mary’s feeding program in 2015. And we had a very good experience and we actually had an opportunity first hand to see how it works and how happy the children are to have the meal in front of them at lunch time and we had lunch with the children and when we saw that – and we did get requests from some of the feeding programs saying that they needed some assistance and so we decided to extend that assistance across the country. The staff, really they are territorial and they want their respective branches and districts to benefit as well, so this year we decided to go from north to south and so this year we have a feeding program from every district represented today.”

 

Rosanna Briceño

Rosanna Briceño, Principal, St Peter’s Anglican School

“Monies, like the C.E.O. said, is like a drop in the bucket. But when people think about feeding programs they think about unsustainability because it is never enough. But when initiative like Ride Across Belize donate and contribute it does make a difference; it goes a long way. We feed 55 children every day and sometimes we only have enough to feed twenty-five, but with initiatives like these we can make the effort to feed fifty-five children every day.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The children you cater to, are these children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get a meal – say for a day or so?”

 

Rosanna Briceño

“Definitely. What we tried to do in the past is that we tried to do a breakfast program and the feeding program to complement each other; but we found out that it is too expensive to run both. So, we have assistance up to now with a milk program. These children get a warm cup of milk by nine or nine-thirty the latest and that holds them up for lunch time. So, yes, we are feeding these children every day on a daily basis.”

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