VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Three million dollars worth of emergency funding has been approved for food banks across B.C. in an effort to keep people from going hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province announced the grant on Sunday.
“We know that many British Columbia families count on food banks to supplement their weekly grocery needs,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction, in a release.
“To help ensure that people continue to have access to the food they need, our government is taking steps by supporting B.C. food banks so they can, in turn, keep meeting the needs of the people in the communities they serve,”
The money is meant to help food banks buy food, pay employees, and cover program costs as they adapt to increased demand and requirements for social distancing.
Greater #Vancouver – we are in urgent need of your help. Many of your neighbors and friends will be leaning on the @VanFoodBank during this critical time. Start a Virtual Food Drive today to help and support the people in your local community! https://t.co/F1P0vp0gh8 #YVR pic.twitter.com/UFlxWvQJe4
— Greater Vancouver Food Bank (@VanFoodBank) March 25, 2020
“In response to concerns raised by food banks about capacity to respond to the urgent need in their communities, the order removes barriers to business to allow: drive-through and delivery opportunities, larger hampers, increased home delivery capability and removes the requirement to present identification. These measures will make it easier for food banks to operate in this challenging time when more people are using their services,” the statement said.
Food Banks British Columbia will take the lead on deciding which programs to fund and where, with a mandate to deliver funding efficiently across all regions.
The money is coming out of the existing Community Gaming Grants program which recorded a $140 million surplus at the end of last year.