Construction giant M &M Jamaica Ltd. has donated much-needed masks to frontline healthcare workers at the Black River Hospital as well as care packages to approximately 500 households in Kingston and St. Elizabeth to aid in the COVID-19 relief efforts.
The company, with its head office in Kingston, donated disposable masks and food packages valued upwards of $500,000 for distribution through Speculation Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and All Souls Anglican Church in St. Elizabeth as well as Tarrant High School and the Church of the Ascension outreach in Kingston.
The communities to benefit are Pond Pen, Spring Park, Speculation, Cambridge, Brompton, Fyffes Pen, Shrewsbury, Luana, Oxford, New Town, and Killmurry in St. Elizabeth, along with Jacks Hill, St. Andrew and Tarrant in Kingston
According to Miss Nicola Morris, administrator at the Black River Hospital and Rectors’ Warden at the All Souls Anglican Church, the donations are timely and will greatly benefit the over 300 staff members at the type ‘C’ hospital as well as hundreds of Jamaicans who have lost their source of income due to COVID-19.
“Many of our community members worked in the hotel industry. Others are indigent and rely heavily on persons who are now out of jobs. The care packages will provide meals for an extended period, so we are truly grateful for the assistance,” she says.
The packages include cooking oil, flour, sugar, salt fish, rice, and canned mackerel.
M & M Jamaica Ltd. has had a longstanding relationship with the parish of St. Elizabeth owing to its founder and Managing Director Donald Mullings being a son of the soil. The company has established numerous tertiary scholarships for members within the community of Brompton as well as hosts the annual M & M Mathematics Competition.
The call for help was never a question of why, but how much, states Mullings.
“People are struggling, not because they don’t want to work but because they can’t. I know first-hand how very industrious the residents of St. Elizabeth are and being a product of that hard work, we could not stand by and not lend a helping hand. As a company, we are simply trying to make their lives a bit easier during these troubled times,” he said.
Jamaica confirmed its first coronavirus (COVID-19) case on March 10. Since then, approximately 47,000 Jamaicans have lost their jobs, with the hotel sector being the hardest hit.