Senior Citizens, Widows, Orphans, Others Get Free Meal In Ekiti

June 15, 2013

Building on the success story of the food bank, the Ekiti Development Foundation has again pioneered the soup kitchen, a new initiative through which indigent citizens across Ekiti State get free meal.

So far, more than three thousand families across the State have benefitted from the scheme, according to the Wife of the Governor and Founder of EDF, Erelu Bisi Fayemi.

She spoke during the inauguration of Ekiti Food Bank storage and administrative facilities and formal introduction of the soup kitchen, in Ado-Ekiti and Emure-Ekiti, on Friday.

The Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, and some top female officials of the state were in company with the First Lady for the programmes. With the initiative, unsupported senior citizens above 65 years, widows, orphans and other vulnerable members of the society no longer go to bed hungry.

The governor’s wife said that the EDF spearheaded the programme, as part of its contributions to the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration’s resolve to banish poverty and extreme hunger from the land.

The foundation is collaborating with the Centre for Family and Reproductive Health Initiative (CFRHI), a non-governmental organization for the programmes.

The governor’s wife said that the target of the initiators was to ensure that the soup kitchen was replicated in each of the 177 wards of the state before the end of the year.

She was optimistic that the target was achievable if indigenes of the state at home and in the Diaspora, as well as political appointees in the state, supported the initiative.

The Food Bank, which was launched in October 2012 provides raw food to indigent citizens through its centre located in Ado-Ekiti, while the soup kitchen is piloted in some locations like Itapa, osi, Emure, Ado-Ekiti and other towns.

The centres, which started with a meal for each citizen three days of the week, have now graduated to three nutritious meals meant to enhance the well-being of citizens. The beauty of the soup kitchen is the decision by some of the beneficiaries with catering background to cook the foods and serve as volunteers in each centre.

“This will erase any suspicion about the quality and safety of the food. We don’t want political opponents to turn round and say that there is something else to the initiative. That is why those are cooking and serving are among those eating it.” Fayemi’s wife said.

Erelu Fayemi added that the project was meant to complement the administration social security programme for the elderly by ensuring that no citizen of the state went to bed without food. She said that the introduction of soup kitchen was in fulfilment of some of the electioneering promises of the governor when criss-crossing the nooks and crannies of the state for votes.

Erelu Bisi Fayemi thanked organizations and individuals that have contributed to the success of the projects so far and seek further support. She urged all the political office holders in the state to ensure the establishment of at least one soup kitchen in their ward to take government nearer to the people at the grassroots.

In her remarks, the Deputy Governor of Ekiti state, Prof. Modupe Owolabi, said that the initiative was the begining of good things that the people of the state have longed for.

She described the project as an imitation of best practices in the developed world, adding that the government was proud of the efforts of the governor’s wife towards giving the people a new lease of life. She appealed to the people of the state to continue to support the administration to enable it to deliver more dividends of democracy to them.

The founder of the CFRHI, Dr Richie Adewusi, thanked the state government for its giant strides aimed at ensuring that the people enjoyed the presence of government in their localities.

He urged the volunteers in charge of the soup kitchen against diverting the food whether in raw or cooked forms and to treat those coming to collect the food with love and care.

Two of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Margaret Abegunde in Ado-Ekiti and Mrs. Bosede Folorunso in Emure, lauded the initiative and prayed for the continued success of the administration.

On the entourage of the First Lady were the Commissioners for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs Fola Richie-Adewusi; Arts Culture and Tourism, Chief Ronke Okusanya; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Millenium Development Goals (MDG), Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami, among other women in politics.





Last modified: June 15, 2013

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