Minister: COVID-19 relief grants reaching those in need

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    Social Development Minister Robinson Regis believes COVID-19 relief grants are “touching the needs of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

    That statement came today in the Parliament.

    Mrs Robinson-Regis also outlined all the avenues through which social support has been given or will be given due to COVID-19:

    • 15,333 Salary Relief Grants were paid by the Finance Ministry costing $21.17M
    • 25,101 persons already with a permanent food card were given top ups costing $17.14M
    • 2,818 pension applicants who were not yet approved received food support costing $12.68M
    • 488 disability applicants who were not yet approved received food support costing $1.46M
    • Faith based groups were given $30M for food support
    • Local Government Ministry was given $30M for its 14 corporations
    • Regarding food card and public assistance applied for, 11,335 persons have received grants costing $21.73M
    • 20,497 families with a child or children on School Feed Programme have received food support cards costing $31.36M
    • 1,400 households have received emergency food support hampers

    Regarding outstanding payments and applications, the Minister noted that:

    • 1,012 have applied for rental assistance, 657 have been processed for payment and 52 applications have been rejected over attempted fraud
    • The Ministry is partnering with the Agriculture Ministry to provide 30,000 market boxes which include $250 in fresh produce, two chickens and a $250 grocery voucher at a total cost of $15M. 5000 persons have already benefited

    Despite the claim from the Minister that thousands of grants have already been disbursed, scores of citizens say they continue to wait for any form of relief.

    103.1FM News spoke recently with a single mother, who says she applied since April for income support.

    She says while she received word then that her paperwork was under review, she is yet to receive any assistance or update on her application.

    She says she is unable to earn money since her bar is closed, and is fearful of being evicted from her home because she is unable to pay rent.