Wehby wants to help
GraceKennedy Foundation investing in early childhood education out west
GraceKennedy Group CEO Senator Don Wehby speaking at the grand opening of a new Hi-Lo Food Store in Negril last Thursday.Photos: Anthony Lewis

NEGRIL, Westmoreland — GraceKennedy Group CEO Senator Don Wehby is taking suggestions on early childhood institutions in Westmoreland that could benefit from help.

"Tonight I am committing through our foundation and asking all of you that you can submit proposals to me about how GraceKennedy Foundation can help early childhood education in Westmoreland," he said while addressing the grand opening of a new Hi-Lo Food Store in Negril last Thursday.

Wehby also committed to continue supporting a breakfast programme operated by the Rotary Club of Negril, St Anthony's Soup Kitchen, and Father Jim Boc, the priest at Mary Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic Church in Negril. The breakfast programme supports students within the resort town who need a meal before class.

Assistant governor for Rotary Jamaica West and active participant in the programme Elaine Allen Bradley welcomed Wehby's announcement.

Assistant governor for Rotary Jamaica West Elaine Allen Bradley speaking at the grand opening of a new Hi-Lo Food Store in Negril last Thursday.

"We get two cases of frankfurter cuttings and so I distribute them to the soup kitchen where I have a breakfast programme, and also to the basic schools. There are four schools that I distribute to, plus the soup kitchen," she told the Jamaica Observer.

Allen Bradley, who is also president of the Negril Chamber of Commerce, was equally happy about the pledged support for early childhood institutions.

"We have plenty of early childhood [facilities] in Negril that are very much neglected because the Government can't help everybody, but they are trying their best. So, with this private/public partnership, some of us from the chamber, especially myself, are going to reach out to him and say, 'We have this private institution that needs some help, how can you assist?'" she said.

She was also at the grand opening of the Hi-Lo supermarket which was relocated from West End Road to the Boardwalk Shopping Village on Norman Manley Boulevard. The price tag to build out the new location was $400 million.

It is one of six Hi-Lo stores across the country to offer customers the option of shopping online and having their groceries delivered to their door. It will also feature a delicatessen, which will open later this year.

Hi-Lo Negril has increased its staff complement marginally from approximately 20 to 25. That number is expected to double after it hosts another job fair in March.

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

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