Caption: The Food Voucher Programme contract signing between Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the authorized food vendors namely Carpenters Fiji Limited, Dhan Raj Chauhan and Vanita Uluidai Shop.Photo:SUPPLIED.
The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has signed agreement with authorised food vendors for the continuity of the government’s Food Voucher Programme.
The official agreement signing between the Ministry and Carpenters Fiji Limited(Morris Hedstrom), Dhan Raj Chauhan Enterprises and Vanita Uluidai took place today at the Ministry’s headquarters.
The Food Voucher Programme is assistance provided to social welfare recipients who are part of the Poverty Benefit Scheme (PBS) and the Care and Protection (C&P) Program. The Ministry is currently assisting 18,000 Fijians through the Poverty Benefit Scheme while 5000 children are assisted through the Care and Protection Program.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said today’s signing signals a growing relationship between Government and the private sector inassisting welfare recipients.
“As announced in the 2015 national budget, the monthly Food Voucher payment hasincreased from $30 to $50. These variations have been projected into the contract, which has been extended till next year.
“With the increase in the allocation for food voucher, we are also re-looking at the current food lists. New items will be identified and added onto the lists to suit the needs of the needy families and vendors will also make the necessary arrangements to avail these items for the clients,” Dr Koroivueta said.
Speaking on behalf of Dhan Raj Chauhan Enterprise, Subhashni Lata Chauhan thanked the government for the opportunity provided to serve the underprivileged families in Naitasiri. The Shop based at Lot 6 Vunidawa has been serving more than 170 social welfare clients since February this year.
“We provide basic food items to the clients who are mostly senior citizens and this arrangement with the Ministry is working out well. With the increase of monthly food voucher from $30 and $50, we agree that the food item lists needs to be reviewed. Sometimes, the clients want to buy items like milo, sugar and bottled water, which is not included with the current lists. The review of the foodlist is timely.”
“We want to thank the government for extending our contract and giving us this opportunity to serve underprivileged families in Naitasiri area,” Mrs Chauhan said.
Ms Vanita Singh of Vanita Uluidai Shop said that they have been serving clients coming from as far as Monasavu.
“We have entered into an agreement with the Ministry since January this year and have been, serving more than 300 clients who come as far as Monasavu. I am grateful that this contract has been extended today and we look forward to reach out to as many clients as possible in Naitasiri,” Ms Singh said.
The contract will come into effect from 1st January and will expire on 31st June 2015. Further extensions to the contract will depend on the evaluation of the services provided by these vendors.