Dear Friends, As our province enters the next phase of managing COVID-19 and restrictions begin to ease, we are all faced with new decisions about how to move forward
while continuing to reduce the spread COVID-19 (coronavirus).
What matters to us
As public health rules for organizations like ours shift over the summer months our decision-making will be based on the following priorities:
· Putting the health and safety of staff and community members first. We miss seeing people in person and having volunteers in our kitchen, but we know our community is at greater risk when it comes to COVID-19. Our programming decisions over the summer will reflect that reality.
· Serving a growing need. More people need access to our services than before COVID-19, so making programming as widely available as possible will take precedence.
· Maintaining social connection during a time of social distance. We’ll continue to keep in personal touch with community members and include them in our decision-making process.
· Consistency and flexibility. The lack of routine has been hard on everyone, so every month we’ll reassess our program offerings based on health regulations, community input and staff capacity.
What you’ll see us doing over the summer
1. Growing food for our neighbours: This summer our farm is all about food production. With the help of staff and a few ‘lead growers’ we’re respecting public health regulations and growing food for community distribution.
2. Launching new online programs: Gardening, parenting, cooking, child development, advocacy…it’s all part of our summer program plan. We’re coming up with all kinds of creative ways to reach as many people as possible.
3. Distributing takeout meals & produce packs. This remains the safest way for us to provide healthy food to as many people as possible and we expect it will continue throughout the summer.
4. Personal outreach. Our home visitors and other staff remain in regular contact with community members via phone, text, email and video conferencing, providing support and connection to other resources as needed.
5. Taking care of our team. More staff are transitioning back to working in the office in shifts. Summer is traditionally holiday time for our staff and this year it will be more important than ever for our front-line team to take a break.
How you can help: Finding another ‘new normal’ is going to take time and it will look different for everyone. Let’s make lots of room for one another as we navigate this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Special thanks to all the individuals and organizations who’ve supported us over the past three months through donations to our Good Food Access Fund. We appreciate you so much!
Wendy Fraser Executive Director
Want to support our work during the COVID-19 pandemic? Donate now to our Good Food Access Fund