The Food Pantry Program is a program set in place by the Ministry of Human Development to fight against malnutrition by subsidizing basic food baskets. These baskets are offered every week at a low price and the program has approximately 17,000 beneficiaries, according to the Food and Nutrition Security (FNS). Yesterday the Ministry announced that all beneficiaries will now receive these packages for free amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The Minister of Human Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, was a guest on our COVID-19 update show and explained that certain checks and balances must be made in order to prevent persons from acquiring more than one package.
Minister Martinez also spoke about what these packages include and how many persons it will be able to cover in one family.
Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development: “The packages entail ten pounds of rice, ten pounds of beans, ten pounds of flour, five pounds of sugar, two pounds of shortening, two tins of baking powder, two condensed milk, two Choco milk, two chickens, four soaps, two Clorox, two soap powders and assorted vegetables and fruits and that will be a two week supply. Of course also too we are working with the farmers and we are asking —
Rene Villanueva Sr., Host: “Does that take into consideration Minister the size of families because I’m listening to you saying that that’s a two week supply but maybe for one person or two but do you take into consideration that someone might be approaching you on behalf of a family maybe of eight or nine people ?
Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development: “Well I think that is the standard package in my humble opinion for a family of five. When it crosses that line the Ministry makes the determination as to what more can be done so as far as I know that is the standard package.”