By Linda Straker
Joy Mancini, Head of the Welfare Arm of the New National Party, is questioning the decision made by a senior executive member of the National Democratic Congress to not disclose information about an indigent family whom she claim is eating green banana peels.
“People want to help the family or families who are living in this terrible condition. Refusing to provide the location and name is just inhumane of her, because she is causing them to suffer more and be deprived of much-needed assistance. People really want to help but no one seems to know or locate them,” said Mancini, who explained that her role as welfare officer makes her work on a national level, and she has come across a lot of poverty, vulnerable and indigent situations.
“But this is the first time I am hearing of a family eating banana peels, and I just cannot understand why the person who disclosed that information to the public will not provide others with the information to bring relief,” she said.
Jenny Rapier, President of the Women Arm of the NDC made the disclosure about the families last Sunday during the weekly one hour NDC Heartbeat programme, but when contacted to provide further details, she refused to divulge information.
When asked to provide more information about the family, Rapier who is a Hairdresser by profession told NOW Grenada, “You will have to get that information for yourself. The information came to me. I don’t know why they decided to come to me, but why everybody suddenly just want to help? There are other people around suffering just as badly!”
On the programme which is aired on a popular radio station, Rapier complained that there are families in Grenada who have hit hard times and “they are so badly off” that one woman is serving her family “fried green banana skin” to satisfy their hunger. Green banana skin is the outer covering of the green banana which is peeled off before cooking. The peel is normally used in the making of compost, and not consumed as food.
Since the disclosure on radio, various persons have being calling the radio talk shows, seeking information for the location, names and other details about the family or families, but no information is forthcoming. One announcer told his audience that he received a text from a Grenadian based in the USA offering to supply the family with food, and he has no information on how to contact the family.
Officers in the Ministry of Social Development have said that they know of families in terrible situations because of poverty, but they are yet to come across a family eating “fried green banana skin.”