The LINK Food Centre is starting the distribution of hot meals to those in need of one, during the months of February and March.
“Pre-covid we used to offer a meal to clients during each distribution on Tuesdays between 10 to 12 p.m. and Thursdays between 4 to 6 p.m. but since COVID we haven’t been able to do that as we are unable to welcome clients into our building,” said Candice Little, the food centre manager.
The food centre was able to secure $6,562 in funding through the Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and Community Foundations Canada to run this Winter Hot Meal Program, which will focus on take-out hot meals each Tuesday and Thursday during regular hamper distribution hours for the two months.
“This funding will cover staffing costs, as well as the purchase of the hot meal through local participating restaurants and caterers,” she said.
To sign up for the program, anyone needing a hot meal is encouraged to visit the food centre between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesdays and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursdays.
“We will provide the meals in take out containers for them to take home,” she said.
The LINK, which was started in 1992, has continued to serve the community, even through the pandemic. Last year, when the need for the food centre started increasing and the funds started depleting, the organization applied to several grants and secured funds from Food Banks Canada, Food Banks BC, Community Food Centres, Canada Community Foundations, The United Way as well as support through Province and Federal governments and the community.
“We continue to be very busy at the Food Centre, and we don’t see this changing any time soon. We are trying to find innovative ways of ensuring folks who are sick, in quarantine, and self-isolating are still able to access food supports in these pandemic times,” said Little.
The LINK’s 2020 Season of Giving campaign was also a huge success, with them raising $56,212.16. The organization’s goal for 2020 was to reach $25,000 through the Season of Giving campaign. The secret Santa’s workshop that the organization held in December 2020, was also a witness to the generosity of the community, with over 900 toys donated for the workshop.
“We want to continue to thank our community for supporting us in all of our endeavours to ensure none of our neighbours go hungry this winter, and we want to encourage anyone who is in need of a helping hand to come and see us. We will get through this together!” concluded Little.