Many Ottawa residents find it difficult to access healthy food, especially now with the COVID-19 restrictions. If there is no store close to home that carries important staples at a reasonable cost, people may be forced to do without. In response to the pandemic, our Collaborative Food Pantry has partnered with over 25 grassroots ethno-cultural groups serving seniors, to support isolated seniors and people with disabilities, particularly those from ethno-cultural communities. To date we are providing food and medicine delivery to 85 households and counting. This work relies on volunteers and donations. If you are in need of a delivery, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-286-7334. If you would like to help, please click here to donate.
The SPCO’s Collaborative Food Pantry has been helping to address food security since 2012. In normal times, the Pantry is a buying club for nutritious non-perishable food like rice, beans, flour, pasta and legumes. The Pantry buys the food in bulk and takes advantage of sale prices. Small groups of friends or neighbours come together to form a local site and register with the Pantry. When they have the funds and are ready to purchase, local sites place their order with the Pantry and arrange a convenient time for the food to be delivered. They save money by paying only what the Pantry was charged for the items, with no mark-up. The Collaborative Food Pantry allows households to stretch their food dollars, increase access to healthy foods, and develop long-term social connections between people.
The SPCO is supporting community responses to the COVID-19 crisis in many ways, including:
- Ensuring that marginalized and vulnerable groups have access to adequate information and resources.
- Building the capacity of grassroots organizations to address challenges their members are facing.
- Facilitating information exchange and collaboration at multiple levels, between government, mainstream service providers, grassroot organizations and vulnerable residents.
- Supporting and encouraging local initiatives to exchange knowledge and promising practices.