Cool Aid will no longer accept food donations to reduce transmission of COVID-19. Instead, the organization asks for monetary donations or grocery store gift card donations which can be made online. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Greater Victoria social services centre faces food shortages as pandemic limits donations

Cash donations, grocery gift cards requested

To reduce transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cool Aid will no longer accept donations of goods or foods, including packaged foods.

Donation limitations extend to leftovers from coffee shops, bakeries and grocery stores – sources people on low income depend on every day for food according to Cool Aid.

The organization is asking for public support to help the vulnerable population by providing them with grocery store gift cards. Cool Aid’s online shopping cart allows community members to make a donation that will be used to purchase gift cards to be given directly to people in need.

READ ALSO: Social services groups take extra precautions for Victoria’s most vulnerable amid pandemic

Those looking to help can visit the online shopping cart at CoolAid.org/giftcards to choose from a number of grocery and food-related gift cards. The organization says it will use the donation immediately to buy gift cards and give them to people facing food insecurity.

In addition to the gift cards, the organization is in need of other financial donations to support its programs. Cool Aid is asking that people not bring donations in person in order to reduce possible virus transmission. Instead, donations can be made online at CoolAid.org/donate or over the phone at 250-383-1977. Cheques can also be mailed to 101-749 Pandora Ave., Victoria, B.C., V8W 1N9.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: BC Transit cancels many routes, offers free fares for next 30 days

Volunteers are asked to stay home to reduce spread.

On Tuesday, Our Place Society announced it was closing its doors to comply with stricter health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Our Place kitchen will serve three meals per day on the street in front of the Pandora Avenue location while shelter space will be reduced to follow social distancing guidelines.

The organization asks for financial donations, single-person tents, sleeping bags and tarps.

Meals will also continue to be served at The Mustard Seed Street Church out the kitchen door. Gloved staff have been packing hampers which will be distributed in the parking lot for families and seniors.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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