By Emma Gregory
Since the start of a petition by the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, local community members and organizations have stepped in after multiple Greater Vancouver Food Bank locations have closed due to the pandemic. Since creating a petition, the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (SVNH) has been discussing solutions for the community.
This came after seniors and at-risk community members were faced with additional barriers in accessing affordable food in South Vancouver.
The petition started in September and is nearing their goal of 1,000 signatures. Since creating the petition, SVNH said they have been in conversation with The City of Vancouver, discussing solutions for food support in South Vancouver.
“We’re working on creating a new food hub, that’s where we’re at right now.” said Laura Gair, Seniors Hub programmer at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.
Because of the Food Bank closure, from the end of March, the SVNH distributed meals and one hundred hampers to young families every week. Approximately 300 low-income community members were accessing emergency food every week.
“We need help,” said Gair
Location barriers and distribution protocols were two of the main challenges facing community members wanting to access low-income food.
“Before COVID, my place would fit 60-70-sometimes a hundred people. Now with the new restrictions I can only seat maximum 35.” said Reverend Chien of Potter’s Place Mission.
Between Aug. 18 and October, SVNH redirected its clients to the Marpole Food Drive and the City Reach Care Society. As a result of the closure of the SVNH, the Marpole Food Drive opened on September third.
“I overheard the coordinators talking, and I said I’ll do it.” said Kate Molloy, who works as the executive director of the Kerrisdale-Oakridge-Marpole Community Policing Center.