Cayman’s business community stepped up efforts to assist those in need as a result of the crisis, including donating to the Cayman Food Bank.

Within days of the border closure and shelter-at-home policies in place, Cayman’s business community reacted, with many donating to non-profits or launching their own initiatives in support of the needy.

Newly formed initiative Resilience Cayman was fast-tracked with the help and seed funding from the Chamber of Commerce to help address some of the most pressing health and economic needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

Resilience Cayman is appealing for donations after it received more than 6,100 requests for support, with 5,500 alone coming from unemployed workers asking for food assistance. About 1,000 requests for food assistance have so far been approved.

The initiative will provide food boxes and vouchers to residents that do not qualify for other existing programmes, as well as sponsoring daily meal services for those who have lost their income since March.

It also plans to provide a financial-literacy programme for people struggling with their bills, and a wellness programme will deliver a 30-day supply of Vitamin C to frontline medical and community workers to boost their immunity.

In the near time, Resilience Cayman is expecting to launch Farm Box, an online local farmers market, to support local farms and increase access to fresh produce for residents.

Foster’s supermarket has donated $10,000 to the initiative.

Private sector emergency fund

Outside of the immediate needs for food assistance, a private-sector emergency fund was established with the help, and a personal $1 million donation, of Ken Dart.

R3 Cayman Foundation will manage the fund to support readiness, relief and recovery efforts in the Cayman Islands in response to emergencies and disasters, such as the
COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the initial Dart grant, the foundation has received commitments of nearly $2 million from individual and corporate donors. Ken Dart has pledged to match these private-sector donations up to an additional $4 million.

R3 Cayman Foundation’s immediate priority is to identify and fund projects which help alleviate the substantial human and economic impact of COVID-19 on the community. The fund also aims to enable the Cayman Islands to emerge better and more resilient from
the pandemic.

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