An update on our emergency response efforts
On March 20, 2020, we launched the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Since then, we have seen an overwhelming response from the community. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped. We wanted to share some of the great things that are starting to happen through the Emergency Response Fund:
FOOD: the single most requested support
We are working with local farmers, suppliers and food wholesalers to purchase thousands of pounds of food and distribute it to our partners across Niagara.
We placed our first bulk food order last week, which was delivered to eight food programs dispersed across the region. With the funds raised from the Emergency Response Fund, we purchased enough canned meat, canned vegetables, pasta and rice - the most requested items - to feed approximately 10,000 families. THE NEED IS EXTENSIVE.
Food security is the single most pressing issue we are seeing right now. The most recent statistics state that 14 per cent of Niagara residents are living in poverty which translates to more than 65,000 individuals who are are severely struggling to make ends meet. And that was before so many faced layoffs and the changing landscape in our community.
Now and over the immediate next few weeks, we will experience an increase in needed supports as individuals wait for benefits and additional help to be in place. This time is crucial and many of our local food programs are experiencing the majority of the burden. Now more than ever, your community needs you. If you can give, please do.
OTHER WAYS WE ARE SUPPORTING NIAGARA
Personal hygiene has never been more important. Wash your hands! Stay clean! We have been working with Niagara Region Public Health to distribute hygiene kits to those who need them.
We are supporting After School Matters participants and their families by providing Family Care Packages. These care packages include food items (protein, grains, vegetables) and rotating educational activities to engage youth while the After School Matters program is closed. 200 families in our community are relying on this weekly support
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
If you, or someone you know needs help, please call 2-1-1 to find the resources available to you.