Sunday’s annual elderly luncheon organized by the St. Mark Food Fest Ambassadors was a simultaneous 10th-anniversary commemoration of the St Mark Food Fest.
Every year the St Mark Food Fest Ambassadors, in their determination to give back to the communities, especially the elderly in the Homes for the Aged and the general surrounding areas. This year’s luncheon took place at Vick’s Complex in St. Mark.
Vice- President of the St. Mark Food Fest Ambassadors Andy Phillip told the Grenada Informer in an interview said for the last decade he and the team have always looked forward to hosting the luncheon for the elderly who have paved the way for everyone.
These elderly persons, he stated have worked hard and are not being recognized. Some of them are confined to different homes and institutions for the aged with no sort of recreation. In some cases he said, family members, don’t regularly visit them.
Phillip further explained that a member of the Food Fest Ambassadors team came up with the idea of distributing food hampers to the elderly, which initially began at Barry’s and for the first two years hampers were given to the elderly but as the years went by the members thought of expanding the activity to a luncheon and host it in a much more relaxed venue that could accommodate all of the elderlies within the communities of St. Mark and the neighbouring parishes.
The luncheon, therefore, is an avenue where the elderlies can socialize with each other. Some of them are even childhood friends.
According to Phillip, the amount of love that is demonstrated and shared among the elderlies at the luncheon as they embrace each other with tears, hugs, laughter is a very emotional and overwhelming feeling and a sense of achievement by the members that motivates them to continue the excellent work of making the elder citizens in society feel as special as they are.
He said that the elderlies at the luncheon feel a sense of relaxation as they are able to express themselves through the singing of their favourite songs, recitation of poems, multiplication tables, reading stories, dancing to back-in-time music; all the name of fun and enjoyment. He said even those on wheelchairs feel the love; a love he said that is even extended to the shut-ins at their homes as well.
For the tenth year anniversary, the team prepared a whole package to the elderlies, they were given tokens of appreciation together with other goodies after a delicious meal and drinks that were prepared by the food ambassador team, volunteers from the community and the youths whom he bestowed high praise upon for their work over the years and mostly for the tenth anniversary.
Mr Phillip extended special thanks to all those who have made significant contributions to the luncheon over the years, making it a success for ten years. He mentioned in particular, to Kester Barry of the United States who goes out of his way to secure donations and sponsorship of wheelchairs, hats, cups, etc. for the success of the luncheon over the years and for the tenth-anniversary celebration. He also praised Waggy T, Country Cold Store, Grenada Lotteries Authority, the supermarkets, the local business places, churches and all those who assisted with the cooking and other areas to make this year a memorable one. He said, as a team, they will be looking toward a bigger and better event next year for the elderlies.
Prizes were also given to the oldest and best dressed elderly who were serenaded with songs by the Jolly Boys.