Community focus | Group marks 10 years by giving food packages to 200 people in St. Ann

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The buzz generated by the distribution of food packages seemed inescapable.

It pulled scores of people onto the premises of the Methodist Church in the tranquil Beecher Town community, near Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

Caroline Berbeck, who lives near the church, said her curiosity peaked when she saw the gathering amid the rainfall.

She made enquiries, and discovered that it was the Beecher Town Give Back Association (BTGBA) doing another food distribution.

“I came down here to see what the crowd was about and heard that the Give Back Association was giving out some things. I appreciate it a whole lot,” said Berbeck.

She was among 200 residents of Beecher Town and neighbouring communities who got care package containing food items.

President of the BTGBA, Fay Grocia, who is based in the United States, told The Beacon that the gesture this time round is part of the association’s 10th anniversary celebration.

“In celebration of our 10 years anniversary, we needed to do something of significant impact for our residents. We distributed care packages in late March, but were only able to reach a small amount of people. So, the team decided to do another food distribution on a wider scale to feed 200 residents in Beecher Town, Content, a couple from New Hope, and a few in the Hinds Town communities,” she explained.

The beneficiaries are grateful for the assistance.

“The residents have been receptive and extremely grateful. Seeing a smile on one person’s face or joy in their step or a telephone call to express gratitude is both a humbling and emotional experience,” Grocia further said.

Meanwhile, some residents did not hesitate in helping to package and distribute the goods, which were bought in bulk.

Ena Thomas, who travelled from the neighbouring Hinds Town to give a helping hand, said the BTGBA has been extraordinarily good to her son Craig Thomas – awarding him a full scholarship.

“They are very kind to my son and I appreciate what they are doing for him; may God bless them,” she told The Beacon, adding: “I am here to help wrap out and give out packages.”

Observing the process, Norman Brown, a board member of the association, said the BTGBA has been undertaking various projects in and around Beecher Town.

“The Give Back Association has been doing a lot of things for the past 10 years. We help with a lot of students going to school; we definitely base our association on health and education,” he added. “As part of the food distribution [on July 31], we have groceries – flour, sugar, rice, tin things – all different types of food to give out to the community.”

Brown said the organization used a list of names to ensure that care packages were distributed mainly to the residents who were in need – including senior citizens and shut-ins.

ALSO READ: Beecher Town group, based mainly abroad, giving back for 10 years


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