Indigent families in Ekiti state have been given a new lease of life with the introduction of Food Bank, where unsupported widows and the elderly, orphans, as well as vulnerable children will receive free quality food and nutritional support monthly.
More than one hundred families across the sixteen local government areas, who have gone through screening, received raw food items at a presentation ceremony presided over by the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday.
Another category of beneficiaries will be supported with a square meal on a daily basis in the proposed second phase of the project.
The project is an initiative of a non-governmental organization, Centre for Family and Reproductive Health Initiatives (CFRHI) and
Ekiti Development Foundation, founded by the wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi.
Among items distributed are bags of rice, garri, beans, wheat powder, tubers of yam, tin tomato, seasoning cubes, noodles, salt, semovita, frozen fish, frozen chicken, palm oil, vegetable oil, dried pepper, crayfish and fresh fish.
Speaking at the event, the governor restated the resolve of his administration to banish poverty in the state through several interventions and with collaboration from public-spirited individuals, NGOs and corporate bodies.
Fayemi said, “The more people we have on the streets with begging bowls, the more obvious it is that we are not doing enough as a government to alleviate poverty.
“But if people come to our state and they don’t see anyone begging for alms, then it’s a statement about how far we have gone in ensuring
that we are creating a relatively level playing society.”
The governor commended the President of CFRHI, Dr. Richie Adewusi and Erelu Bisi Fayemi for sparing a thought for the unsupported indigent
members of the society. He pledged 10 per cent of his farm yield as his personal contribution to the project and solicited support from members of the public within and outside the state for the sustenance of the food bank.
The founder of the EDF, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who expressed joy at the project, said Ekiti was the first state in the country to have a structured programme for feeding its indigent at no cost to the beneficiaries.
Besides facilitating the provision of nutrition to those in need, she said the launch of the food bank would also provide psychosocial support, including self-employment in agro-allied business.
She added that the state’s Ministry of Agriculture had liaised with ten top commercial farmers in the state to contribute some output of
their farms to the food bank as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The governor’s wife congratulated all the beneficiaries of the food bank and advised them not to abuse the opportunity by selling the food
received from the food bank.
The president of the CFRHI, Dr Richie Adewusi thanked the state government for supporting the idea and promised to ensure judicious distribution of the items to the beneficiaries.
An eighty-year-old woman, Mrs Deborah Owoseni, was close to tears while receiving her portion of the largesse from the governor, as she
knelt down in appreciation.
Last modified: October 17, 2012