'ADDING TO THE JOY': Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, second from right, presents a hamper to La Brea MP Fitzgerald Jeffrey at the Preysal Community Centre, yesterday. The hampers are to be distributed to those in need in his constituency. Looking on are Minister in the Ministry of the People Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, right, and Inshad Ishmael, director of the Food Card Programme. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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Don't give hampers to family/friends

By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com  

WHEN constituency workers distribute food hampers to the needy for Divali, they should educate them about services provided by the government and assist them in moving up the economic ladder.

The advice was given yesterday by Social Development Minister Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, after distributing 410 hampers to representatives of the 41 constituencies.

Ten hampers worth between $250-$300 each will be distributed to ten families or persons in each constituency.

Constituency workers collected the hampers at the Preysal Community Centre.

The items included in the hampers are specific to the celebrations of Divali and include curry, coconut oil, cooking oil, ghee, spilt peas (dhal), channa, flour and rice.

Ramadharsingh told constituency representatives not to choose their family and friends but the hampers should be given to those who need it, including differently-abled persons and senior citizens.

He said persons should stay and spend time with the recipients of the hamper and by doing so they will be adding to the happiness of the receiver instead of just "dropping a hamper" and leaving.

Member of Parliament for La Brea Fitzgerald Jeffrey attended yesterday's event to accept the hampers. He said the people in his constituency will appreciate the items.

Since the People's Partnership government came into power, they have distributed hampers for the past two Christmas seasons. This is the first time hampers have been distributed in recognition of Divali.

Ramadharsingh said next year for Eid-ul-Fitr, a similar function will be held.

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