photo: Tim van Dijk

PHILIPSBURG – While the concerns about lost income grow on the island, the inhabitants of Sint Maarten are trying really hard to help each other. Take for example the volunteers who handed out 10.000 ‘airline meals’ this week in the poor neighborhoods on the island.

The food was donated by one of the airport catering services: due to the travel restrictions to and from the island they had meals left over. A welcome gift on Sint Maarten, where a lot of people will be pushed further into poverty due to the corona crisis.

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By Tim van Dijk

Freegan Food Foundation has been handing out free food in the poorer neighborhoods of Sint Maarten for more than two years. The corona measures has thus far not impacted the work they do.

That could change in the future, say the organizers. The amount of food that is donated is starting to shrink and the measures are being tightened. If food were to become scarce, it could be dangerous to head into the neighborhoods.

Increase in infections
On Tuesday the government confirmed that there were 16 cases on Sint Maarten and that one person had passed away who had been in self isolation. It is suspected that he had the coronavirus. On the French side, Saint Martin, two people have passed away due to the coronavirus.

Ombudsman Sint Maarten: ‘Don’t forget those less fortunate during the corona crisis’

Due to the worldwide corona crisis, Sint Maarten had to close its borders for all tourist visits. This was a difficult measure for the islands because their economies depend on tourism.

The amount of individuals who don’t have an income is climbing. The Ombudsman for Sint Maarten asks that we not forget about the most vulnerable groups during this crisis. Read more about it here.