Several angry and embarrassed food card holders were finally able to make their grocery purchases on Friday, after the cards were finally credited with their usual amounts in time for their month-end shopping.
Scores of food card holders had previously complained that they were unable to do so because the cards were not topped up on time.
On September 5, Munroe Road/Caroni Savannah Road councillor Adrian Ali took to his social media page to post: “No money in government food cards and today is already the 5th.”
Another woman from the Carapichaima area, who wished not to be named, said she was forced to walk out of the supermarket with nothing after realising the card was not credited.
“I took up the usual items I get every month for my family and when I went by the cashier and give my card, I was told it declined because of no money. I was shocked. Told her to try again and nothing. I didn’t have no other money on me to pay for my grocery stuff so what ah go do. I leave empty-handed. Nobody never tell we anything. It is embarrassing and an insult to poor people like me who does depend on it. Me ain’t working and have my children and myself to see about. I does use the card.”
When contacted on Friday, however, Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox said, “All the food cards were uploaded.”
Asked what caused the delay, Cox did not say, nor did she indicate when the cards were credited with the respective funds.
However, Ali confirmed to the Guardian Media on Friday that the cards were topped up.
“I was told they were topped up yesterday (Thursday).”