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Dec 20, 2021

Food Vouchers Replace Hampers at Salvation Army

Today, the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Food Hamper Distribution Drive was slightly different than usual. From as early as seven o’clock this morning, residents were gathered at the headquarters waiting to collect their goodies to make this Christmas a joyous one. But this time around, the team over at Salvation Army were handing out vouchers instead. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Hundreds of residents from across the city came out to collect a pantry bag – items that would normally be used to make their Christmas dinner. But this time around, they were issued vouchers to shop at Publics Supermarket which gives them the opportunity to get exactly what they need. It’s one of the biggest events organized by Salvation Army annually, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the process had to change.


Jonathan Kellman

Major Jonathan Kellman, District Commander, Salvation Army

“This is the liveliest distribution because simultaneously in three of the four locations, we are distributing right now to cover a total amount of seven hundred and fifty food hamper vouchers. It’s food hampers, but vouchers. Last year I started this partnership with Publics because we were deep in COVID-19 distribution with pantry and to do also the hampers, we didn’t have space really. So Publics offered and we accepted for them to produce the package so people can come there and purchase at the same value of the package that we normally distribute here.”


The value of the voucher was increased to forty dollars, despite drastic cuts to donations to the Salvation Army due to the harsh economic times.


Major Jonathan Kellman

“We normally have a target for the Christmas Kettle Appeal at about one hundred thousand dollars because for the events that we have, this is going to cover most of that. Just food distribution alone is about thirty thousand. We just managed over the week to cover the amount to cover this, so we still need to raise more. I know this is the last week of Christmas, but our thing continues, especially with the letters, people can send them in even in January. But we noticed the figures were going down. Some business houses have called and said, I am sorry, we are going through a little economic difficult and we can’t help as we would want.”


But the Salvation Army under the leadership of Major Jonathan Kellman is still pushing forward and there will be distribution in the West and Belize District.


Major Jonathan Kellman

“San Ignacio, Santa Elena…well from Georgeville, Unitedville all the way to Cayo, into Benque we have a person distributing there. Those people are receiving from…we partner with Lins. In Maskall, we’ll be doing a delivery later in the week and in Hattieville, those people that registered will be at the J Mall. So we try stretch it out so that even businesses get a boost because of the distribution.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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