The GraceKennedy (GK) Group has responded to support relief efforts in St Vincent following several massive eruptions of the island’s La Soufrière volcano last month.
GK has pledged over $13 million in assistance for the Caribbean island nation, which will primarily go towards the purchase and shipping of supplies for its residents.
A portion of the pledged funds will also be allocated to GK’s charitable partners working on the ground to support those most negatively affected by the disaster.
Discussing GK’s St Vincent relief efforts, GK Group CEO, Don Wehby stated, “By all accounts from our team on the ground in St Vincent, the current situation on the island is critical. While volcanic activity is expected to continue anywhere from days to weeks, the long-term impact of this disaster will continue for months, and possibly even years to come,” Wehby said.
Wehby said the company set a target among its subsidiaries that GK will donate $10 million to St Vincent relief over the next four months.
“In response, we have received commitments from both our food and financial services subsidiaries all over the world amounting to over $13 million! In only a few days we have already surpassed what we set out to do, and I think that really speaks volumes to how much we live by our ‘we care’ mantra at GK.”
Within days of La Soufrière’s eruption last month, Grace Foods Latin American and the Caribbean (LACA), partnered with GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) to launch the GK’s relief efforts by donating over 120 cases of food and beverage items to the country’s National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) for use in its shelters, through LACA’s local distributor, Coreas Distribution Limited.
LACA has also coordinated a container of 350 cases of Grace Salted Fish and Grace Sardines and 400 cases of 876 Spring Water which is to be shipped from Jamaica to St Vincent this week.
The container is expected to arrive in St Vincent late next week and is the first of three such containers which GK will ship to the island in the coming months.
“We are in ongoing dialogue with our team in St Vincent to ensure that the supplies we send are what is needed. We are our Caribbean brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and our thoughts and prayers are with all Vincentians, including our GK team members, who have been impacted by this devastating event,” said Wehby.