The Social Health and Rehabilitation Effort (Share) and the
Community Enhancement Food Distribution exercise (CFED) have
become part of the new debit card system.
More than 1,800 needy Tobagonians are expected to benefit
from this move.
Assistant Secretary for Health and Social Services Albert
Pilgrim made the announcement at last Thursdays post-executive
council news conference.
The Share programme, which had been in existence for some
13 years, was an initiative of the Ministry of Social Development
while the CFED programme was run by the Division of Health
and Social Services.
Pilgrim said previously, some 482 people received monthly
hampers, but from August a total of 549 would be receiving
All hampers were previously valued at $250, making for a total
of $12,500 on food hampers.
The debit card is the forerunner to the Smart Card, which
takes effect in a years time.
Pilgrim said people would now be able to buy what they want
at their convenience rather than take what is given to them
in the hampers.
He also insisted that the most needy would get the most out
of the system.
The minimum a person will receive is $300.
In August, 316 people are earmarked to receive $300 debit
cards while 105 Tobagonians will receive $500 cards.
Some 549 people from the CFED programme will receive cards
Share and CFED are expected to bring relief to 1,800 people.
The programme is scheduled to begin at the end of this month
at some 13 groceries.
Pilgrim added that 17 more groceries will soon join the programme.
Furthermore, he said the value of the card for each recipient
would be based on the number of people who live in the house.