The social welfare recipients of Poverty Benefit Scheme (PBS) and Care and Protection (C&P) Program living around Vunidawa, Naitasiri province will now be able to easily access their monthly food items without having to travel long distances. This has been made possible after the Department of Social Welfare has signed agreements with two new authorized food vendors under the government’s Food Voucher Programme.
Minister for social welfare Jiko Luveni.
The official Memorandum of Agreement signing with the two new vendors from Vunidawa, Naitasiri “Dhan Raj Chauhan Enterprise and Vanita Uluidai Shop” took place at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation’s headquarters in Suva on Friday this week.
While explaining about the Food Voucher Programme, Director Social Welfare Mr Rupeni Fatiaki said the two new vendors will provide basic food items on the monthly basis to social welfare recipients in Vunidawa, Naitasiri.
“The $30 Food Voucher is an important component of the social welfare programs, the Poverty Benefit Scheme which is provided to verified poor families in Fiji while the Care and Protection Program is for assistance to poor families with children where death of the breadwinner has occurred or categories of single mothers, prisoner dependents and foster care.
“These two programs provide monthly allowances which are also complemented with the $30 monthly food voucher, that requires social welfare recipients to obtain food packages through issuance of vouchers via the authorized food vendors,” Mr Fatiaki said.
He said there is a standard food items list that has been approved by the Fiji Commerce Commission and recipients can only select the food items listed.
The Dhan Raj Chauhan Enterprise which is located in the heart of Vunidawa has been in business since 1965. Mrs Subhashni Chauhan, assistant manager said the company is glad for its new partnership with the Fijian government in reaching out to the disadvantaged families.
“We would like to thank the Department of Social Welfare for giving this company an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of poor people. We were searching for such opportunities to serve the people of Naitasiri and we are really proud to have found the means to expand our services. We look forward to provide the basic food items like rice, sugar, noodles and other items on the approved items list provided,” Mrs Chauhan said.
Similar comments were uttered by the manager for Vanita Uluidai Shop that is located at Lot 3 Delainavusa, Vunidawa.
“This new agreement will bring great relief to the social welfare recipients living in the rural and remote areas, it will save them time and money that is usually spent on travelling to either to Nausori or Suva to get their food items,” Ms Vanita Uluidai said.