Search results for : food
Did you mean : food stores
Showing 71 to 80 of 1000 results
How many of you reading the paper this morning think about what you eat before you eat it? How about while you eat it?
How many of you have meat with every meal or twice a day? What are you eating now while you read this over breakfast – eggs? Cereal with over 7 grams of sugar per serving (and how many servings are in that bowl anyway?) A big glass of milk? Toasted white bread with butter? Egg McMuffin?
What's IN this stuff, anyway? Recently I made the decision to ask myself these questions: Why do we eat the way we do? How is it detrimental to our health? How can I change? It’s a scary thing to ask ourselves about our food. We may not realize it, but we’re addi ...
Commercial crime investigators have uncovered a new fake check scam targeting major supermarkets.
Head of the Business and Technology Crimes Unit of the Central Detective Unit (CDU) Assistant Superintendent Michael Moxey said yesterday that the scam is being backed by an organized crime ring.
Moxey said that while the group is well organized, suspects do not always succeed in passing off the fake checks to businesses.
So far police have discovered 40 fraudulent checks that were used at several supermarket chains in New Providence. According to Moxey, those involved in the scam go to food stores and purchase goods with the fake checks.
He said supermarkets often find out about the scam when attempts ar ...
RBC Royal Bank has announced that it is a presenting sponsor for the upcoming Food For Thought Panel Discussion on Hunger and Food Security in The Bahamas. The panel event promises to be a unique learning experience. It will include a live raffle, door prizes, light refreshments and the opportunity to discover how individuals can join in the fight against hunger in The Bahamas.
The event is being organized by Hands For Hunger (H4H), a humanitarian organization committed to the elimination of unnecessary hunger and the reduction of food waste in The Bahamas. H4H strives to achieve this goal through the creation of meaningful and engaging partnerships amongst all sectors of the Bahamian community.
Since 2008, H4H has provided 500,000 meals to Bahamians in need through its food rescue program, which currently assists 12 recipient outreach agencies serving over 8,000 meals each week.
The Food For Thought Panel Discussion will coincide with World Hunger Day, which is celebrated around the world on May 28, 2013. A few of the confirmed panelists are Dr. Selima Campbell-Hauber, horticulturist and owner/founder of Field to Fork Farm, and Minalee Hanchell, executive director of Great Commission Ministries. The panel discussion will seek to develop further consciousness about food security and hunger awareness on the island, analyze and outline ongoing food security programs and discuss solutions to island-wide food deficiencies.
RBC supports civic causes which improve the quality of people's lives and strengthen the community. RBC was one of the first corporate sponsors of Hands For Hunger. Over the years the bank has sponsored numerous H4H programs and RBC employees have served as volunteers for H4H initiatives. Most recently, a group of RBC employees joined H4H to help count pennies collected during a primary school penny drive. RBC team members also provided logistical support for the penny drive and will assist at the panel event as part of their ongoing volunteer service to H4H.
"It's an extremely rewarding experience for RBC and our employees to assist H4H as they work to eliminate hunger in The Bahamas", said Jan Knowles, RBC manager, public relations and communications. She continued, "We applaud H4H for the important work they do in the community and encourage the general public to attend the Food For Thought Panel Discussion and support Hands For Hunger."
"Hunger in Nassau is a very real and serious problem. We are still importing over 95% of our food, which affects affordability for all citizens on our island." shared Abigail Asgaralli, executive director, Hands For Hunger. She thanked RBC for its support, "RBC's involvement as a sponsor for our Food For Thought Panel Discussion demonstrates its unwavering support to address the ever-growing need for food security, while helping us secure funding for our food rescue program, food security research and healthy living education programs. We are proud to have RBC as a sponsor for the Food For Thought Panel Discussion, and as a constant supporter and proponent for the vision and mission of Hands For Hunger."
The Food For Thought Panel Discussion on Hunger and Food Security in The Bahamas will take place on Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at the British Colonial Hilton from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. A ten dollar ($10.00) entrance fee will be charged. Participants will receive 1 free raffle ticket as part of their entrance fee for a chance to win awesome prizes. For additional information about the Food For Thought Panel Discussion on Hunger and Food Security in The Bahamas please visit http://www.handsforhunger.org.
Erika Robinson has enjoyed quite a journey to get to where she is today, operating a takeaway that sells food that both meat eaters and vegetarians can partake in. From the world of banking and finance to flipping omelettes out of a shack on the side of Carmichael Road, she's now found her niche on her family's homestead on Hawkins Hill, operating Da Glass Kitchen.
The food that Robinson has been serving for the past four years is delicious and famous around town -- for those in the know -- but at the same time, it's almost still a well-kept secret.
Fans of Da Glass Kitchen offerings swarm the spot for vegetarian breakfast items like scrambled tofu, grilled tofu, veggie burrito or a hot slam bam made with veggies and cheese. Regular Bahamian breakfast items like tuna salad, steamed mackerel and steak and eggs satisfy the carnivorous set.
For lunch, vegetarians can take their pick of veggie burgers, tofu or curried veggie medley, or a sautéd veggie wrap, to meals like sautéed vegetables or BBQ tofu, BBQ veggie steak strip or curried tofu veggie medley served with veggie rice or white rice. Meat lovers can enjoy their fill of burgers from beef to turkey, curried chicken wraps, old-fashioned sandwiches like tuna melt, sausage and cheese or meals like curried chicken, BBQ steak or a grilled chicken medley with veggie or rice.
"One of the reasons why I started the restaurant is because I have more of a vegetarian diet, and there are very few places where I can go to eat in Nassau and choose from a menu. Generally, I may get a potato or steamed veggies, or maybe a salad, but there was nothing that would really satisfy me. And I wanted everybody to be able to eat at the same location. If I'm your friend, most likely you are not vegetarian, which means I have to find someplace for you to eat and then go somewhere else to find someplace for me to eat. I wanted both people to be able to eat at the same place, and this is why we have not only vegetarian foods, but foods for everyone to enjoy," said Robinson.
Having enjoyed a vegetarian diet for 15 years, Robinson is also cognizant of the fact that most vegetarians are conscious about how their food is prepared and that there is no cross-contamination with meat products.
At Da Glass Kitchen, their food preparation is front and center. The minute you push open their old-fashioned screen door and step up to the counter your view is of the entire kitchen and what is going on. You can see chefs chopping cilantro, slicing mushrooms, dicing peppers and stirring a pot of curry chicken. And you will never see them cross contaminate ingredients for a vegetarian dish with a meat-eater's dish.
"We have an open kitchen, because someone like myself -- and most vegetarians I know -- are very particular about how our food is being prepared. We want to make sure there is no cross contamination at all, so people get to actually see their food and how it's being prepared," says the 38-year-old Robinson.
While everything on the menu she says is a must-have item and meat eaters would actually find themselves enjoying a veggie option if they gave it a chance, Da Glass Kitchen is famous for its burgers which Robinson says accounts for 90 percent of her sales. From delicious beef to a succulent, juicy turkey, veggie and a grilled chicken breast, there's a burger offering, hot off the grill, to suit every palate. Their wraps are also big sellers.
The health conscious Robinson offers healthier alternatives to all of her menu items. Fried foods do not show up anywhere on her menu. Her remedy for those persons that need French fries on the side of a burger is to offer sautéed garlic potatoes or a garden salad, or a curried veggie medley.
The daughter of Bahamian sporting legend Thomas Augustus Robinson and a Mexican mother, Robinson also "dips" her hat to her Mexican heritage as well with a few Mexican influences on her menu, like her fish omelette with Mexican salsa and tortillas.
"We offer foods that nobody else offers and that's what I think makes us unique. It's pretty much about our product, the way we view the customer, our customer service, our dedication to the preparation of the food, to the final product, and that's why I think I can truly say our final ingredient is love, because we love what we do."
For those people weighing the option of trying a vegetarian dish, her recommendation is to start with the scrambled tofu, which is flavorful due to the different herbs they use. It also has more of an egg consistency and is a dish meat eaters will identify with because visual is just as important as taste.
Robinson, who loves food, says she came across her cooking skills through observation and taking the time to read, watch and learn about foods, seasonings and herbs. For her cooking is the greatest entertainment -- more than music, art or books.
And her restaurant was named Da Glass Kitchen for two reasons, one being you can see right through the kitchen, but chiefly in honor of a woman by the name of Katie Glass who Robinson met when she shot a documentary with Maria Govan about HIV/AIDS six years ago. While shooting the documentary she learned that Glass has lived next door to Robinson's grandparents, Cyril H. and Willisie Isadora Robinson. Robinson had not known Glass (who has since passed) as a child.
"What was most significant for me about meeting her [Glass] was that she taught me so much about living in a glass house, what it is to not throw stones and what it is to not judge people. She was one of the most beautiful people I've ever met and just made some wrong decisions, and so the restaurant was named after her."
As the secret that is Da Glass Kitchen and its delicious food continues to circulate, Robinson's immediate goal is to expand the back of the takeaway so her patrons can enjoy outdoor dining.
And she's proud of the fact that her food is bringing people into Hawkins Hill, rather than her taking her operation to a more mainstream, commercial location.
"When we move the seating outside -- the backyard where I grew up, where I climbed the guinep tree and the avocado tree, where I picked the mangos and the hog plums, that's the backyard I want people to be able to come in and enjoy their lunch and breakfast, so it will be a cultural experience."
As much as she calls Da Glass Kitchen a takeaway, Robinson does have seating for at least 14 people between the few tables she has set up and the counter space, if you can find a space.
Starting from a one-man show, Da Glass Kitchen currently has a staff complement of six, including Robinson. She says her story is one of passion and the will to succeed.
"We started out with just me, and no one would walk in. I had more of a delivery service, and one stove and one refrigerator. I worked the kitchen. I was blessed to have a building, and now I've been able to expand, and more and more people know about us. Our logo is Da Glass Kitchen: Where our final ingredient is love, and that's what it's about for me."
Da Glass Kitchen operates out of what was Robinson's grandmother's old Tuck Shop called Tony's Dry Goods. Just being in the location where she is now at gives her pleasure, because it's where she grew up.
"My grandparents are such a strong influence, and have been such a strong influence on the entire family, and as the youngest grandchild, I spent a phenomenal amount of time with my grandparents, at the home and in this shop. So it's a very personal feeling for me to be here, knowing that they would approve, knowing that hard work is something they taught us from the very beginning, as well as my dad, because his whole story is about discipline, dedication, determination and desire -- the four D's, -- and he was always showing that to his kids. It was about teaching us that you have to work to get what you want and that is what [Da Glass Kitchen] is for me.
Da Glass Kitchen opens for breakfast at 7-ish, Thursday through Saturday -- and Robinson stresses the 'ish part, but she says they try not to open any later than 7:15 a.m. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 12 noon through 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday. She encourages telephone orders, especially for the lunch rush between 12 noon and 2 p.m. when she says it gets really crazy. The majority of their customers opt to telephone their order in and pick up.
Gone are the days when the most essential kitchen tool was a well-seasoned cast iron skillet which if properly taken care of would last for generations. Today, your great grandmother would probably be in a pickle if she were to enter the modern kitchen. From mandolines to microplanes, zesters, silpat liners, smoking guns, hand blenders and food processors, she probably would not even know where to begin.
Knowing that it would not only be grandmother that would be confused walking into the modern home store, and figuring out how to use the many kitchen supplies, Master Technicians staged the first of what is expected to be a number of live culinary showcases to show people how to use the appliances for everyday recipes.
Local chef Keshlah Smith put KitchenAid's countertop equipment, the hand blender and the 5-Speed Artisan Blender to good use to show patrons how to make smoothies and dips; and they used the 5-Quart Artisan Series Stand Mixer used to mix a cake; the 12-inch convection countertop oven to make Monterey meatballs, and the 13-cup food processor to make a colorful seven-layer salad.
Chef Jamal Petty, who was in the audience, said as a cooking professional it was useful to get to see the appliances at work before making a purchase as it allowed him to get a better understanding of how much of a assistance the tools can be.
"A lot of time we don't purchase stuff not because we don't like it, but because we don't know about it," said Petty. "It's good to see [the tools] in action because I can already see myself using them."
Master Technicians General Manager Derek Francis said the way forward is to allow for people to experience appliances before purchase so that they can know how to utilize them in their home kitchens.
"We want to present the customer with the opportunity to see just how these appliances can make your life so much better," said Francis. "We not only want to showcase the products that we bring to the marketplace, but we want to create that experience so people come to us thinking they don't just sell appliances they live their appliances."
The company hopes to host quarterly culinary exhibitions during which home cooks and professionals can try out their products.
"When you talk to any of the chefs, the tedious tasks tend to be the chopping tasks, but if you can turn on a food processor and let that thing evenly slice cucumbers in less than a minute and a half ... for a business you're not absorbing as much time and that creates efficiency," said Francis.
Make use of Kitchenaid's
Food Grinder Attachment
What You Will Need:
Medium mixing bowl
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic
1 slice white bread
1 pound beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch strips, partially frozen
1 pound pork steak, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch strips, partially frozen
1 small onion, quartered
1 rib celery, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce
Italian parsley sprigs
Preheat countertop oven to 450 degrees F. Position oven rack in "down" position in center slot. Line oven baking tray with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Assemble and attach food grinder with fine grinding plate. Grind cheese, spinach and garlic into mixer bowl. Grind one slice white bread to clean spinach from grinder body. Remove food grinder and attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Stir speed to blend cheese, vegetables and bread together, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Return food grinder to mixer. Continuing on Speed 4, grind beef chuck and pork steak into mixer bowl. Re-grind meat mixture to achieve even texture. Grind onion and celery onto meat mixture. Remove food grinder and attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Add bread crumbs, egg, seasoned salt, and pepper. Turn to Stir speed and mix until ingredients are well combined, about 30 seconds.
To make meatballs, roll a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture into a ball, approximately one-inch in diameter. Form about two tablespoons of meat mixture around cheese ball, shaping into a round ball, approximately 1.5 to two inches in diameter. Place 12 finished meatballs on prepared baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until cooked through. Spread marinara sauce on bottom of display platter. Arrange meatballs in sauce. Garnish with parsley. Repeat with remaining meat mixture and spinach mixture.
What you will need:
Serving bowl or tray
12-14 large ripe Roma tomatoes, cored
4-6 jalapeno peppers, with some seeds and veins removed, cut in half
2 Anaheim chilis, seeded
4-6 green onions, trimmed
½ cup packed cilantro leaves, divided
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
4 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
White corn tortilla chips
Cut tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim chilis and green onions into approximately one-inch pieces. Place tomatoes in large bowl and peppers and onions in medium bowl and set aside. Assemble and attach food grinder with coarse grinding plate. Turn to Speed 4 and grind half of tomatoes into mixer bowl. Exchange coarse grinding plate for fine grinding plate. Grind half of jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers, green onions, and ¼ cup cilantro leaves into tomatoes.
Remove food grinder attachment. Attach bowl and flat beater. Add two tablespoons lime juice, two teaspoons salt and one teaspoon sugar to bowl. Turn to Stir speed and blend mixture, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to display container and garnish with cilantro sprig. Display with tortilla chips.
Cranberry Apple Relish
What you will need:
Medium mixing bowl
4 medium Granny Smith apples with skin, cored
2 naval oranges with skin
2 packages (12 ounces each) fresh cranberries, partially frozen
3 cups sugar, divided
½ cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, divided
Cut apples and oranges into approximately one-inch pieces. Place in bowl and set aside. Assemble food grinder with coarse grinding plate and attach to mixer. Turn to Speed 4 and grind one package cranberries, and half of apples and oranges into mixer bowl.
Attach bowl with ground fruit and flat beater to mixer. Add 1 ½ cups sugar and ¼ cup liqueur to bowl. Turn to Stir speed and mix for one minute, or until well blended. Transfer mixture to display bowl and garnish with mint sprig.
MAKE USE OF YOUR KITCHENAID'S 13-CUP FOOD PROCESSOR
What you will need:
1 package quick-rise active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ¾ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 package (8 ounces) Mozzarella cheese
1 package (8 ounces) provolone cheese
1 small stick pepperoni
1 small zucchini, trimmed
1 small green pepper or red pepper, seeded and cut in half
1 small sweet onion, halved
3 Roma tomatoes
½ cup coarsely chopped or chiffonade-cut basil leaves
Garlic and sea salt grinder
To make dough, dissolve yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand five minutes. Position dough blade in work bowl. Add remaining sugar, bread flour and salt, to bowl. Pulse one or two times to mix. With processor running, slowly pour dissolved yeast mixture and olive oil through feed tube. Continue processing until dough forms a ball, about 45 seconds to one minute. Dough will be slightly sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 20 to 30 minutes. Prepare toppings while dough is rising.
For toppings, position shredding disc in food processor. Process Parmesan cheese. Remove cheese to small bowl and set aside. Using shredding disc, process Mozzarella and provolone cheese. Remove cheeses to display platter and set aside. Exchange shredding disc for slicing disc. Set on Thin (1MM). Slice pepperoni, zucchini, peppers, onion and tomatoes. Remove each vegetable after slicing and place on platter with cheese to display until ready to assemble pizzas.
Preheat countertop oven to 425 degrees F. Punch dough down and divide into eight pieces. Flatten each piece slightly and lightly flour on both sides. Roll with rolling pin to form a circle about five to six-inches in diameter. Repeat with another piece of dough.
Place dough circles side by side on pizza screen. Top with cheeses and vegetable combinations. Season with garlic, sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil and reserved Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly on wire racks. Place on display platter. Repeat rolling dough and pizza assembly with remaining ingredients while first batch pizzas bake. Have second batch ready to bake as first batch is removed from oven. Repeat process.
What you will need:
Serving bowl (glass or clear plastic)
1-2 small heads romaine lettuce, trimmed
3 ribs celery
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 small red onion
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces Cheddar cheese
¾ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley sprigs
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
Position slicing disc in work bowl and slide external slicing lever to Thick (6mm). Trim lettuce to fit feedtube. Process to slice. Remove lettuce from bowl and arrange in bottom of glass or plastic bowl. Slice celery. Use small center feed tube to keep celery upright and produce best slices. Remove celery from bowl and arrange on top of tomatoes. Slide external slicing lever to middle (3MM). Slice tomatoes. Remove tomatoes from bowl and arrange on top of lettuce.
Move external slicing lever to Thin (1mm). Trim yellow pepper to fit feed tube. Process to slice. Remove pepper from work bowl and arrange on top of celery. Slice red onion. Remove onion from work bowl and arrange on top of peppers. Sprinkle peas over onions.
Exchange thin slicing disc for shredding disc. Shred cheddar cheese. Remove from work bowl, and place in small bowl. Set aside.
Exchange shredding disc for multi-purpose blade. Place mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, seasoned salt and pepper in work bowl. Process for 30 seconds, or until well blended. Pour dressing over salad. Spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle with reserved cheddar cheese.
Exchange multi-purpose blade for mini-bowl and blade. Place parsley and basil in mini-bowl. Process to finely chop. Remove from bowl and sprinkle over cheese. Display finished salad.
MAKE USE OF YOUR KITCHENAID BLENDERS
Tropical Breakfast Smoothie
What you will need:
Serving bowl/cups & plate
1 medium banana
¼ fresh pineapple
2 large oranges, peeled
3 cups pineapple orange juice
1 container (5.8 oz.) vanilla yogurt
3 cups ice cubes
Orange slices for garnish
1 cup peanuts
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans
Cut banana, pineapple and orange sections into approximately one-inch chunks. Place in bowl and set aside. Place approximately 1/3 of banana, pineapple and orange chunks, and one cup juice in blender beaker. Process on Speed 3 using a gentle up and down motion for 50 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Add three tablespoons yogurt and one cup ice. Process on Speed 3 using a gentle up and down motion for 30 seconds to one minute or until smooth. Pour some of smoothie into display glasses and garnish with orange slice and a sprinkle of chopped nuts. Repeat.
Chop nuts ¼ cup at a time on high speed in various combinations to demonstrate chopping capability of hand blender chopper attachment. Display on plate and use to garnish smoothie.
Roasted red pepper and green onion dip
What you will need:
Measuring cups (½-cup and 1-cup)
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream or 1-cup light sour cream
½ cup Romano cheese, grated
1 package ( 2/3 ounce) Good Seasons Italian Dressing
1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, well-drained
2 green onions
Crackers, for serving
In the one-liter pitcher, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, romano cheese and salad dressing. Attach the multi-purpose blade to the hand blender and blend ingredients on Speed 5. Set aside.
Drain roasted red peppers and place in the chopper attachment.
Cut the ends off of green onions and then cut in half. Place in chopper attachment.
Attach hand blender to chopper attachment and chop red pepper and green onions on Speed 3 for about 10 seconds.
Combine red pepper and green onions to the ingredients in the one-liter pitcher.
Attach the whip attachment to hand blender. Mix ingredients in one-liter pitcher on Speed 3 until evenly combined. Serve on crackers.
Make use of your KitchenAid blender
Chilled melon soup
What you will need:
3 cups ripe cantaloupe
3 cups ripe honeydew
1 ½ cups orange juice
2 tablespoons mint leaves
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh mint sprig
Cut cantaloupe and honeydew into approximately one-inch pieces. Place fruit in pitcher. Add orange juice and mint leaves. Hit Mix button and move up a speed every 15-30 seconds until reaching puree. Add honey and lemon juice. Start with Mix and move up a speed until blending ingredients well. Pour soup into honeydew display bowl and garnish with fresh mint sprig.
Make use of your KitchenAid blender
What you will need:
Serving bowl or cups
2 (Kensington pride) mangos
1 handful of baby spinach leaves, pre-washed
1 tray of ice cubes (15 cubes)
About 1 cup of water
Peel the mangos and add into blender. Add the banana, spinach, ice and water.
Hit Mix button and move up a speed every 5-10 seconds until reaching puree. Blend until you can't see pieces of spinach floating around.
The shake should be a light greenish color, and it should have a smooth, relatively thick consistency, somewhere between a milkshake and a thick shake.
This recipe makes enough shake to fill two average-sized glasses.
The House of Assembly yesterday approved a resolution to borrow $7.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for a social safety net program, which Prime Minister Perry Christie said will represent a "major shift" in the way social services are provided and administered in the country.
The project seeks to reduce poverty through the introduction of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) targeted at the poor. Through the program, cash grants will be provided on the condition that households comply with health and education conditions focused on children.
"By placing those conditions, you're getting this money and it's going to be used in a way that we'll be able to measure the impact on the health of a family, the health of the children, and on their educational attainments," Christie said during debate on the resolution yesterday. "In other words, it is trying to maximize the use of the money and to measure how its beneficial."
Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin said that the program will emancipate the thousands of people who have been in a cycle of poverty over the past decades. While there is no recent data on the level of poverty in the country, the number of Bahamians living below the poverty line far exceeds the 28,000 that was recorded 11 years ago, Griffin said. That figure is recorded in the 2001 Bahamas Living Conditions Survey.
"We can never tell what the poverty level is now in this country. Based on what we see happening, the level of funding that we are putting in social services and into funding, far too many of our people are in need of assistance and on the poverty line."
According to Griffin, millions of dollars have been spent on social relief in the past two years alone.
Between July 2010 to June 2011, the Department of Social Services spent $687,644.21 on electricity bills; $98,0972.99 on Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) bills; $1,026,195 on rental assistance; $89,573 on burial assistance; $6.5 million on food coupon payments; $1.3 million on permanent food coupons, and another $4.6 million on temporary food coupons.
Between July 2011 and June 2012, the Department of Social Services spent $758,676 on electricity bills; $88,798 on WSC bills; $1.2 million on rental assistance; $6.6 million on food coupon payments; $1.4 million on permanent food coupons, and another $4.8 million on temporary food coupons.
Additionally, Griffin said outside of rental assistance, the department spent $90,883 to assist persons who were evicted from their homes.
"And so Mr. Speaker looking at the situation and looking at the cycle of poverty, in an effort to break that cycle we believe that the social safety net will do that, and bring up a lot of the families who have been living in poverty. And in addition to that it will revolutionize the way we deliver social services in the ministry and the Department of Social Services," she said.
Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis said the program represents a comprehensive re-engineering of the way social services are provided and administered in The Bahamas, with the view of improving efficiency and delivery, and ultimately leading to change in social outcomes and behavior.
He noted the budget of the Department of Social Services for 2012-2013 is approximately $39.9 million. Of that figure, he said approximately 29 percent is spent on the government's food stamp program.
"Unfortunately this amount has been constant over the past three fiscal periods and while it is a reflection of the general economic environment, it also reflects a certain level of inefficiency," Halkitis added.
He said key activities to be funded by the social safety net program include a nationwide survey to ascertain the characteristics of poverty in The Bahamas; the modernization of the delivery method for food stamps in New Providence and Grand Bahama; and an alteration in the method of determining recipients of assistance.
Halkitis explained that the program's focus will be less about how much assistance each person needs, and more about how to help people climb out and stay out of poverty.
Solomon's Fresh Market should be contributing to the company's bottom line by the second quarter, according to the CEO of AML Foods.
The popular supermarket has only been in operation since November of last year. But Gavin Watchorn, the AML Foods chief, expects the $5.3 anchor of the Old Fort Bay Town Centre will move from the red into the black within a few short months.
"We think by the second quarter it will kick in," he said. "It's not in the red now. It's a little below break even but we expected that. I would say it is a couple of months ahead of our projections."
Solomon's Fresh Market, offering an unprecedented mix of organic vegetables, has catered to the considerable number of communities springing up in western New Providence.
Watchorn told Guardian Business that feedback from customers has been excellent.
"The seafood in particular has been an enormous hit," he added. "The whole deli fresh area has also been well received. The supermarket was indeed designed around these concepts."
Although Solomon's has been open for months, AML Foods announced yesterday that the company will host a grand opening this Friday, now that the store is fully operational.
Turning to the rest of he company, the AML Foods chief said the search goes on for a suitable site for the first Carl's Jr. franchise in the country. He reported there are a number of locations of interest. Staff hirings are also being considered. However, Watchorn told Guardian Business many of these issues won't come into force until construction begins.
The first restaurant is expected to open in the third quarter of this year. He also indicated that AML Foods is poised to save considerably by making use of existing staff and infrastructure. By incorporating resources and "synergies" from the Dominos franchise, he revealed the company is poised to save $250,000 and "transfer it over to Carl's Jr".
This rise in sales without considerable spikes in overhead should bode well for investors in the BISX-listed firm.
"We will be making use of the purchasing team and such from Dominos. From a synergy perspective, that is the name of the game. You add sales without increasing costs. In actual savings from Dominos alone, we'll be able to save $250,000," he said.
Watchorn anticipates by next year AML Foods should drive its overall sales up to $115 million, partly due to the continued success of Solomon's Fresh Market. As several Carl's Jr. franchises come online, he added that the fast food chain could add another $15 million to AML's bottom line over the next several years.
AML Foods is targeting a $4 million investment in several Carl's Jr restaurants in the coming years.
Last month, AML Foods issued a further 4.28 million in Class B preference shares. It also entered into an agreement with preference shareholders to restructure share debt.
The maturity date of the shares was extended from December 2015 to December 2022, with a reduced rate of 8 percent to 7.25 percent.
"It allows us to use operational cash flow for growth rather tha debt repayment," Watchorn said. "We can grow our business."
The Downtown Nassau Partnership in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources announce the first Great Bahamian Seafood & Wine Festival scheduled for May 28-29 with a gala event at Jacaranda House on the 28th and an all-day, all-out festival at Junkanoo Beach east, just west of the British Colonial Hilton, on Saturday, May 29.