When the COVID-19 pandemic began, food insecurity became more prevalent and apparent around the world. This unwelcome obstacle hurt the hardest for those who had already been struggling before the pandemic.
Witnessing these families and individuals in need led Random Acts supporter Shanti Ramkhalawan to create an initiative called Community Hampers Food Project. With a group of volunteers in Guyana, they package and deliver “food hampers” to community members in need.
Each “hamper” holds food and supplies to help the poor, single mothers, and struggling families who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the coronavirus began to spread, Shanti devoted time to help those who often live paycheck to paycheck. One previous fundraiser she took part in donated backpacks and school supplies for students.
As the holidays approached, Shanti aimed to make the season brighter for Guyanese in need. With funding from Random Acts, her team did just that for people in the village of Sheet Anchor, Canji.
Determination to Do Good
Having organized similar projects before, they easily gathered the needed supplies. Their hampers were bags filled with non-perishable items including canned goods, pasta, rice, flour, and cooking oil.
The road to Sheet Anchor was muddy from bad weather and heavy rainfall. But this did not disrupt Shanti and her team’s determination to help those in need.
“They were very happy and surprised to receive a hamper,” Shanti said. “Also very thankful.”
Shanti explained that some who witness her team’s generosity would beg them to bring hampers to their villages. On their way to Sheet Anchor, one passerby requested hampers for pensioners who had nothing to cook for the Christmas holiday. Her team met up later to donate five of their hampers to that retirement group.
The team also had some leftover funding after donating hampers in Sheet Anchor. So, they purchased an extra bag of groceries for a nearby single mother that passes by once a week with her two children.
“I was happy and sad at the same time because you can only give to a few when there are so many who are struggling. I wish I could give to more people,” Shanti said, adding that her biggest obstacles to helping others are low finances and lack of volunteers.