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Community Development - Food Distribution in a Time of Pandemic

11Augustina thumbLife is a mixture of happiness and sorrow. In our contemporary society, Covid-19 has become part of our history across the globe. The pandemic brought many socio-economic and health challenges to Nigeria. The Ubuntu spirit quotes “I am because we are” this helps us to understand our human connectedness. What affects one individual affect everyone. The effect and impact of the pandemic created more problems for people who were sick before the arrival of Covid-19.

This contributed to much illness and even death in the communities such as Ozoro in Delta State. This was mainly because of restrictions of movement and poor access to health care. The presence of Covid-19 also brought the advent of food scarcity in the community.

11Augustina1There was little or no household income especially to non civil servants. However, the high class and middle class have the financial capacity to cope, while poor families were the most affected. This was a big challenge to families and those people who depend on charity to feed and have no source of income. Social disorder, closed down markets and other functions greatly increased the price of food. Poor families were not able to provide three square meals daily. One woman shared with me that because of a lack of finance, she was feeding her children with less nutritious foods such as rice with oil, tapioca and soup with little ingredients. Experience has shown that women especially, experience more domestic workloads at this time of pandemic and starvation. They struggle to provide food for their children despite the food scarcity. Although, Local government distributed short term food such as rice, beans, yam and garri, many still face hardships and poverty. Also, some churches and charity organizations such as the Religious Sisters of Charity (RSC) supported the poor with food 11Augustina2items such as rice, beans, cooking oil, sachet tomatoes and indomie noodles. During the distribution of food items in Ozoro community, the poor people were happy and appreciative.

Thanks to Almighty God for the privilege to work with the poor in the rural communities. We hope for the end of Covid-19 pandemic in our country as the activities and public functions are gradually resuming.
Augustina Alozie.