The ‘Sayward Futures Society‘ application was turned down because they proposed to use the funding to hire a coordinator. Emergency Management BC (EMBC) did not feel the COVID situation on Vancouver Island was sufficiently desperate, but they did approve a study to see how the SRD Delivers program could be implemented on Cortes Island. More than 80% of the $10,370 obtained from the province was forwarded to organizations that “offered assistance with grocery shopping, the delivery of food, prescriptions and other essentials for the benefit of the elderly (65+) and other vulnerable persons.” The SRD delivered to 230 households in Campbell River, Read Island, Gold River and Tahsis.
Will there be a second round of deliveries?
The program wrapped up last month, in response to the province’s restart program.
“The province has said this could become an eligible expense item again, should our COVID situation worsen, however they have not defined or given a trigger point,” said SRD protective services co-ordinator Shaun Koopman.
Should this occur, the SRD’s representative from Zeballos (population 107) would like to know how small communities like her’s could participate.
SRD Delivers successful
With three grocery stores offering free delivery during the COVID crisis, Cortes Island decided not to go forward with the program.
The most expensive application was for Read Island, which is only accessible by boat or plane. The Surge Narrows Community Association spent $5,500 delivering groceries on a recurring basis, over a 12 week period, to 40 families.
“The households who received this service were not limited to just Read Island as this service helped all communities in Surge Narrows (Owens Bay ect) but the wharf on Read Island was utilized as a central distribution point,” explained Koopman.
The least expensive was Gold River, on Highway 28. The Gold River Revelers only needed $370 for 50 households.
One hundred Campbell River families also benefited from the program.
After receiving sufficient funding for 40 households, the Tahsis Senior’s Society was inspired to find additional money so they could supply another 30 families.
SRD Chair Michele Babchuk calls SRD Delivers ‘a wonderful program.’
Campbell River Director Charlie Cornfield agreed, ‘It is a great program.’
Top photo credit: groceries in bag by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)