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Bringing Jesus to people through food assistance

By Kaelanne Jordan
Email: mediarelations.camsel@catholictt.org
Twitter: @kaelanne1

The Emmanuel Community of Trinidad and Tobago has pledged to continue distributing monthly food hampers to families affected by COVID-19 post pandemic. The community, which since April has received donations during COVID-19 in the form of “special” vouchers from Massy, Tru Valu and Xtra Foods, has distributed to some 500 families across the Archdiocese.

On Monday, (July 6), the community received a donation of gift cards from Massy Stores valued at $25,000 for distribution to 115 families. In a post via its Instagram handle massystorestt, Massy Stores said it also supported the Archdiocesan Social Needs Assistance Team, out of the office of the Archbishop, with a donation of $40,000 worth of food.

“We continue to support the efforts of the Archdiocese in mobilising donations of 22,000 hampers per month, on average to help families,” the post said.

Catholic News spoke to John Mackay, moderator at the Emmanuel Community on Tuesday, “distribution day” as the Community was preparing to distribute $200 voucher each to 100 families.

The drive sometimes sees the families “repeated” for assistance.

The Emmanuel Community is an ecclesial community under the authority of the Archbishop. In operation since 1987, the community’s main focus, according to Mackay is on evangelisation, prolife issues and enhancing family life.

The community also provides parcels/hampers every other week to families in need.

Mackay observed while distribution has reduced “a little bit” as some persons have returned to work, there are those who continue to be in need.

“… we will continue to help in accordance any way we can…we have a group of families that need help every month, whether COVID or not,” he said.

Cognisant that there may be persons who would take “advantage” of the donations, Mackay highlighted the need for an up-to-date database of persons and to interface with every person who require their assistance.

“Our mission really is to evangelise so we are there to help people and to show the face of Jesus to them.” He said that it is hard to talk to a hungry person about God because their needs are different.  “So if we can help them otherwise and speak to them about God, we can change their views a bit,” Mackay explained.