Food security policy targets poverty and poor health – Cayman Islands Headline News – Cayman News Service

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(CNS): Government has published a draft Food and Nutrition Security Policy driven by concerns about the health and well-being of residents and the growing challenge of chronic non-communicable diseases caused by poor diets as well as access to and cost of nutritional food for some families. Officials said the primary concern is the ability of people to meet their food and nutrition needs. A series of meetings has been set to collect information from the public to inform this proposed policy.
Hundreds of families in Cayman are struggling to meet grocery bills and get healthy nutritious food. The Cayman Food bank recently said it is supporting over 500 families each week. Given the pressure on costs for that charity, which is having to fund the shopping as demand far outstrips food donations, they are hosting a fundraising event next month.
“With the rising cost of living, the donations are not as consistent as we need to keep helping the community. Donations are urgently needed, and this event is designed to help us raise much needed funds,” the charity said, illustrating the extent of the food insecurity across the Cayman Islands.
Government’s own free school meals programme providing all children in government schools with breakfast, lunch and a snack also reflects the concern government has about children going hungry.
Poverty coupled with poor diet is causing significant health problems and government is now focusing on the problem through the food supply. The public consultation meetings on the issue begin later this month in North Side and a meeting will be held in each district, including the Sister Islands.
The aim is to discuss the solutions to food security with the population and invite input on this draft before it becomes policy. It was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture with help from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute and other stakeholders. It presents holistic approaches in making the Cayman Islands a food and nutrition secure country, officials said.
The burden on the healthcare system and the medical problems caused by chronic non-communicable diseases fuelled the formulation of the policy, which involves the identification and analysis of the factors undermining food and nutrition security in the country and crafting measures to address the issues.
The goal is to address inadequate supplies of affordable, safe and nutritious food by increasing domestic production and sustainable levels of imports and strengthen the social safety net to better target the vulnerable, namely the differently-abled, the indigent, children and female-headed households.
The schedule of meetings will be as follows:
·         Monday, 17 October, North Side Civic Centre, 7:00-8:30pm
·         Wednesday, 19 October, Bodden Town Civic Centre, 7:00-8:30pm
·         Wednesday, 26 October, John A Cumber Primary School (West Bay), 7:00-8:30pm
·         Thursday, 27 October, Seafarers’ Meeting Hall (Prospect), 6:00-7:30pm
·         Thursday, 3 November, Little Cayman Beach Resort (Little Cayman), 3:00-4:30pm
·         Friday, 4 November, Ashton Rutty Civic Centre (Cayman Brac), 7:00-8:30pm
A consultation session will also be hosted for members of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce at its offices at Governor Square, West Bay Road on Thursday, 10 November at 3pm.
Members of the public can view the draft policy and provide comments here.
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The grocery stores, Priced Right and Cost U Less could give their customers better bargains when they put on specials. $1 or .99 savings is no special at all.
I don’t think the food suppliers are hurting, they could do better, when it come to the specials.
Sometimes the ‘savings’ is 10 cents. It cannot be worth the time, paper, ink and human energy to print out the savings tag and stick it on the shelf and adjust the computer for a mere 10 cents ‘savings’. Pathetic.
Nearly rotten produce still selling at full price. Long past sell-by date items on shelves still selling at full price. Never mind the insane markups on some items.
No matter the questions asked of management in these grocery stores, no matter the amount of begging management to do better when it comes to reducing prices – nothing ever changes.
Lots of them are Jamaicans getting free school meals and food .
Are they taken a piece from your plate?
Yes they are. Tens of millions of pieces.
Why moan that some school kids receiving free meals might be Jamaican? Are they not human beings – and children – and shouldn’t they be fed?
Whether it’s Caymanians in need of extra support to feed themselves, or it’s any human from any other country, isn’t the issue simply that there are human beings in the Cayman Islands who are struggling to feed themselves? Why the divide between local and foreign? How is it okay for any human in the Cayman Islands to not have enough food?
What of those responsible for importing foreign labour and paying them slave wages? Where is the accountability for those who are truly responsible for importing this foreign labour? The Caymanian government and the Caymanian immigration department and all other Caymanian entities that work together to import people to do the jobs that Caymanians believe to be beneath them. Should Cayman just go without imported labour – and all those positions Caymanians refuse to fill should go empty. What then for the profit-at-any-cost Caymanian (and church-going, god-fearing Christian???!!!!) owners of businesses who feel no shame exploiting human beings? And what then for those of us who depend (often against our better judgement) on those same Caymanian business?
Disgraceful minimum wages. Disgraceful lack of enforcement on all things pension payments, work permit fees, and health insurance. Disgraceful lack of reliable and truly island-wide public transportation. Disgraceful lack of any plan whatsoever to help minimize the ridiculous levels of traffic that result in hours-long commutes on this tiny island. Disgraceful lack of transparency and honesty from a government made entirely of MPs who are elected (employed) for the sole purpose of serving the electorate. Why is this small detail almost always forgotten – the MPs are not elected for the betterment of their own financial standing and the puffing up of their own bank accounts. They work for the people of the Cayman Islands – and when they waste government money, that is OUR money they are wasting!
An education system that will take decades to turn around and that is woefully under-preparing Caymanians for any semblance of a decent future. Social and family systems woefully under-preparing Caymanians to be able to cope with life’s challenges and/or to be able to take care of themselves. Parents stuck in endless hours of traffic – needing to buy groceries (with what money – have you seen the extortionate price increases that are coming non-stop?) – then cook (if they even know how) – help with homework – spend any amount of quality time with family members … exactly when on most days is there time for doing the good and right things in order to best take care of their family?
The cost of living is through the roof. Not only in Cayman … the worldwide economic outlook isn’t all sorts of positive happiness for many. But here in Cayman, where there is no shortage of wealth or government surplus, all we get is a warning from Wayne Panton that things will continue to be hard, and tips from the joke that is CUC telling us how to cut back electricity usage. As if most of us aren’t stressed enough managing dwindling finances, we now have the highway-robbing excuse that is CUC telling us how to be even more careful (petrified?) with electricity usage – while the fat cats that are CUC shareholders take home guaranteed ever-increasing profits and live ever-more comfortably, with ever-less regard for the very many who simply do not have enough to make ends meet no matter what they do.
Surely it’s enough attacking people – the ones who are already fairly downtrodden and struggling, often not through fault of their own. Times aren’t easy in general for many people. Yes, some people are irresponsible and reckless with time and money, amongst other things. But many, many others are doing more than their best to make life work for them and their families. Given them a break!
Stop attacking the Jamaicans and all the others deemed as less-than, and less-welcome than a generational Caymanian. You aren’t better people because a few generations back your ancestors stood on these shores. You don’t get to look down your nose at others who you perceive to be different and therefore, less than you. People are hurting, people are struggling, and generally still here in the Cayman Islands, these same people are imported and hired by and working for Caymanians. Caymanians who are more than happy to take zero responsibility for any problem, and prefer instead to simply point the finger and blame at anyone and anywhere else. Pathetic. Grow up.
It would be a welcome thing to see the Cayman government actually working to benefit the Caymanian people. But failing that, perhaps the Caymanian people can start to do better, for their own people and for those who are not legally Caymanian. It’s a small rock in the middle of the Caribbean Sea … at the end of the day we are all mere human beings. Would it hurt to practice a small amount of human decency?
We are not Jamaica’s department of social services and the Cayman public should not be forced to act as if it is. It is bankrupting us.
Hats off to the charity farm on Hirst Road started by a few businessmen at the suggestion of Fabian, the dancing policeman. All produce is given away to the elderly and poor. Kudos to the farm . We need more people like these people.
We need Officer Fabian in Government. He’s got a real genuine heart of gold and that’s the integrity and character the public needs in Government instead of power corrupt money hungry politicians
I would like to know how much these “volunteers” are being “reimbursed”?
volunteer and you will find out
Charity raising funds to feed 500+ poor families in a country with an annual budget surplus of tens of millions every quarter. What the hell is Government spending this surplus on? Is there any other country in the world having budget surpluses?
This article should state “Government is allocating X million for providing food to struggling families” not “charity raising money”
Other issue you put healthy food in front of these poor families such as fruits and vegetables but they will highly likely choose to eat fast food high sodium fat instead. Obese poor … cue the soca music
Kenny just allocated $10 million for an advertising campaign for Cayman where the video alone cost over $800K. Strangely enough it doesn’t feature pictures of the indigent getting food handouts.
i go vegan 4 days a week…eat fish y chicken y turkey rest…no sodas or sugary drinks…limit salt oxtain..beef…turtle meat….etc…feel like new person!
Good for you being able to pick and choose what you eat. Many people don’t have a choice.
Actually it’s cheaper to eat veg than meat or fish! I have cut back meat to three times a week and my grocery bill has fallen considerably.
I nearly died on green smoothies and “healthy” stuff…I now eat steaks daily and my health has improved dramatically!
greens are for cleansing and detoxifying, meat is for nourishing. Been there, done that. And proper amount of salt is essential to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals.
STOP IMPORTING POVERTY! No expatriate should be permitted to come here on less than a living wage. The status quo is madness and quickly making Cayman economically unsustainable.
The businesses will never allow it. How else will they get their slave labour?
What makes you think these are expats?
Because I know many of them are.
Hungry must be fed, regqrdles!!
Actually no. Our laws, if anyone bothered to read, let alone enforce them, confirm that non Caymanians should be fed right up to the plane door sending them home. Where is the freaking disconnect?
Handout capital of the world
Hungry must be fed. Homeless must be housed. Other handouts are optional.
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Cayman News Service


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