The Chukka Foundation and Chukka Caribbean Adventures recently joined the initiative launched by the St. James Police Division to partner with corporate stakeholders to start a School Breakfast Feeding Program for the children of the challenging inner-city Salt Spring Community in St. James. This was an incentive of Superintendent Vernon Ellis to reduce crime by integrating the police into the community. The approach was to have the police looked upon as a part of the community instead of an opposing force. The two schools that are benefitting from this program are the Hatfield Basic School and Salt Spring Infant and Primary Schools. Children of the Primary Age School’s age group are being targeted for this program as they are most open to learning and thriving with positive support extended to them.
The Chukka Foundation started the ball rolling by paying for the first month of the program. Since then other companies in the private sector have joined – Tourism Enhancement Fund, Rainforest Seafood’s, Margaritaville Caribbean, Barnett Estate Limited, Gore Development Limited and Cascade Group Jamaica. With the support of the private sector helping to contribute towards the program by paying for a month each, this helped to make the program sustainable and a great success.
The Breakfast Feeding Program started in May. The initiative continued throughout the summer months for a four week period during July and August for 120 children. The children were positively impacted and they engaged in educational and fun extra-curricular activities. Since the inception of the program, a sense of peace now exists in the community and incidents of violence have been greatly reduced.
With the start of the new academic school year, the Breakfast Feeding Program will continue into 2020 thanks to the support of the sponsors.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson stated “We at the Jamaica Constabulary Force appreciate the sort of commitment the community has made to peace, and building the relationship that we have over the past few months.” It was also noted that this program would be replicated in other communities throughout Jamaica.
Thanks to our partners in the private sector for their support!