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Feeding the Underprivileged: Curbing One of Soufriere’s Main Problems

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - The community of Soufriere has started a feeding programme for street beggars and indigent persons.

The soup kitchen programme, which is being managed by the St. Vincent DePaul Society, is expected to benefit the town, as it grapples with the problem of tourist harassment and other illegal activity, which are more likely to be committed by street beggars and indigent persons.

The National Community Foundation (NCF) has added its support to the initiative, which is struggling to find funds to remain viable. A recent grant of EC$4,800 was presented to the Soufriere Parish Council to assist the project. According to Chairman of the NCF Emma Hippolyte, the NCF’s contribution will cover the salaries of the cook and one helper.

Member of the Soufriere Parish Council and Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Percival McDonald said that the St. Vincent De Paul project cost almost $20,000.

He said that the idea was to keep all the drug addicts and mental patients away from the streets to reduce harassment, pointing out that he had written to the Ministry of Health, in an effort to monitor the medication of the mental patents. “All that is to try and make Soufriere a tourism friendly place where people can come – no harassment- and hopefully, our senior people will get the assistance that they really want,” he said

The soup kitchen was established in June this year, and now caters for 45 needy residents.


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