Jamaica: Families Cut Meals As COVID Eats Away Earnings – Educator Worried Situation Could Affect Learning

“Boy, finding food is hectic. Dem eat more now and me haffi find breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

That was the response of Lisa*, a mother of four living in west Kingston, when asked how her family has been coping since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two of her children are beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) – a state welfare initiative – and received a free cooked meal at school daily.

While lauding the Government for allocating an additional payment during the period April to June as physical classes were suspended, Lisa said that filling the gap the closure of schools has created is still proving difficult.

Jamaica has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic for the last six months, with restrictions put in place to combat the deadly coronavirus pushing many families to the edge.

A recent study conducted by UNICEF and the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) found that eight in every 10 households suffered income losses. On average, families lost 46 per cent of income, while lower-income households suffered a 49 per cent loss.


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