The People of Praise (POP) Food Bank and Life Centre was officially opened Friday, December 3. The POP community has been active in that ministry for many years now, but because of the increased need for food, clothing and pastoral ministry caused by the pandemic, the Food Bank and Life Centre is expected to present a more organised and sustainable presence and service in the Borough of Arima.
The launch was attended by Arima Mayor Cagney Casimire, Member of Parliament for Arima Pennelope Beckles-Robinson and President of the Arima Business Association, Christian Rampersad.
The programme was graced with the presence of Fr Steve Duncan, Vicar of the Eastern Vicariate and Tobago and moderator of the Arima/Malabar Cluster who bestowed blessings through a short service of prayer and the Word.
POP moderator Winston Garcia invited the public, individuals, and corporate entities to partner with the community to donate generously so that the bank will never run out of food and other essentials. The Life Centre will offer short courses to assist those in need of acquiring vocational skills to make them employable or become entrepreneurs.
Over 100 families received food hampers which contained staples, Christmas gift bags for children with snacks and a toy.
The Food Bank and Life Centre ministry is an answer to the call by Pope Francis and Archbishop Jason Gordon to embrace a preferential option for the poor. It’s also a call by the Lord Jesus Himself to His disciples.
Persons interested in donating to the food bank may call the POP office at 667-1544 or Winston Garcia at 685- 0321. Blessed Advent and Christmas from the People of Praise family.—POP