Nearly 14 months ago, the City of Vancouver went into pandemic lockdown. The streets were empty, many social service supports closed doors including foodbank depots, food shelves were being cleared out as people began to stockpile food, grocery delivery was weeks behind demand, and so on. We feared many people, especially those most vulnerable with compromised health were without safe and adequate food access. Together with Britannia Community Centre, we deemed emergency food delivery an essential service and kicked into high gear delivering healthy food hampers to over 700 households throughout “East Vancouver”.
Now 14 months later, our COVID Emergency Food Delivery Program is ending as funding comes to a close and life resumes to a new normalcy….It has been quite the ride and we are all very proud of the work that we have accomplished with the help of over 200 community food activists (volunteers). I have said repeatedly, that these activists represent the spirit of “East Vancouver” for which this work could not have happened.
All food recipients have been particularly grateful and we are happy to have helped lessen people’s stress through the worst of COVID. I am left with a couple of lovely stories, one by a woman who told us that she actually is feeling healthier since receiving our hampers loaded with nutritious food and lots of fruits and veggies that she was not eating previously. Another woman thought our program was funded through the Ministry of Health and that is was a healthy eating program.
While most all people would like to see our program continue, we do not want to entrench this type of program, but rather focus more energy on policy change and advocacy for a better social supports system, including such programs as a universal basic income that will ensure that people have the financial means to purchase healthy food of their own choosing.
In closing we are happy to present our COVID Year End Report.