Local businesses concerned for those less fortunate in wake of COVID-19

By Roderick Benns

Local businesses concerned for those less fortunate in wake of COVID-19

As the province shutters schools for three weeks because of COVID-19 and people are urged to stock up on essentials, Jamie Bergin, one of the owners of Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault, is worried about Kawartha Lakes Food Source.

More specifically, he’s worried about the increased number of people who will most likely be accessing food banks in our area.

Local businesses concerned for those less fortunate in wake of COVID-19
Jamie Bergin, far right, one of the four owners of Boiling Over.

“Some hourly workers will be required to stay home with little or no pay when they are ill,” Bergin tells the Advocate.

“We need to draw people’s attention to the fact that not all families can afford to do that in Kawartha Lakes,” he adds.

Bergin says Food Source is more than likely to see families they have never seen before as a result, assuming the virus hits even moderately as hard as predicted.

“We should anticipate an increase in demand at Food Source,” he says, while adding he hopes the COVID-19 pandemic never gets too extreme here.

Similarly, Kawartha Care’s Dr. Manju Asdhir is also stepping up to help Food Source. In a recent social media post she notes it’s critical to think of those who are not as economically well off.

“With everything happening in the world today, it’s important to look out for each other. The most vulnerable people in our community will be (the ones) most impacted by all of the shortages,” her post reads.

Local businesses concerned for those less fortunate in wake of COVID-19
Dr. Manju Asdhir.

The post notes that people can stop in during regular clinic hours at 282 Kent St. W., to drop off donations.

“We appreciate each and every one of you. All food will be donated to local food banks and essential items will be donated to local shelters,” she writes.

Kawartha Lakes Food Source is a central distribution centre that supplies food to area food banks.

Heather Kirby is the executive director of Food Source and says she appreciates the concern from area businesses.

She points out that it’s always best to donate to one’s local food bank by simply calling ahead.

Often food banks will set up a table where food and other necessities can be dropped off.

A list of area food banks can be found here.

Kirby notes that each individual food bank will make choices about their hours of operation based on their own needs and available volunteers.

Another great way to help, says Kirby, is to make cash donations online through their website here.

Food Source can also accepts credit card numbers over the phone at 705-324-0707.

The Salvation Army Food Bank in Lindsay is not under the Food Source umbrella. To donate there, call 705-324-7771 for its hours and to arrange a donation.

Food banks should only be used when all other options are exhausted.

For instance, the federal government has already waived the waiting period for collecting Employment Insurance so it’s important for people to apply right away if a temporary layoff notice was issued due to COVID-19.

For those who are more precariously employed, like self-employed people or contract workers, the federal government is currently exploring options but no details have been yet released.

Health Canada suggests COVID-19 takes about 14 days to run its course.

If someone comes in contact with the virus, self-isolation of two weeks is recommended. Diligent hand washing is recommended during this outbreak.

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