Community steps up to support access to food as we deal with COVID-19

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Rev. Laurie McKay (Deacon) of St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church, Betina Wheeler NWHCS Projects and Coalition Coordinator, New Westminster – Burnaby MP Peter Julian at the Drive Thru Food Drive on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

THANK YOU to New Westminster- Burnaby MP Peter Julian (and Doris Mah), Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, the NW Firefighters Charitable Society, the NW Soccer Club, all the volunteers, and the New Westminster (and Burnaby) community for making the Drive Thru Food Drive on Saturday such a resounding success!

An incredible amount of food was collected that will now be distributed to those in need through Purposes Hamper Program and the Health Van, and through the St. Aidan’s HUB in the West End and at its pop-ups in Sapperton and Queensborough. Included in this was a donation of 500 pounds of frozen chicken! We also received close to $800 in cash and grocery store cards, and promises of more to come – including 25 pounds of zucchini! I will be working with local hamper and meal programs to make sure these funds get used in the best way.

This community just rocks!

Betina, NWHCS Projects and Coalition Coordinator

Supporting local service providers during the pandemic

At times like these, it is understandable that people want to support those in our community who are in need. As someone who has been a food advocate in this community for years now, I am extremely worried about the ability of our local organizations to meet community needs as this crisis unfolds. While it is an easy and quick reaction to provide support to large organizations like the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, we would like to encourage you to please consider supporting local community organizations that continue to operate and provide food programming and other supports in New Westminster during this pandemic.  Organizations like:

Aunt Leah’s Place

Dan’s Legacy (food recovery efforts that are supporting local organizations)

Elizabeth Fry Society

Lookout Housing and Health

Lower Mainland Purpose Society (in need of volunteers and funding support and supplies for their Health Van)

Salvation Army  604.521.0363

Seniors Services Society   (in need of volunteers and gas cards)

Union Gospel Mission 604.525.8989

And, please don’t forget those organizations that have temporarily suspended their food services and will need our support once they are able to operate again. We hope this will happen soon! Organizations like:

Holy Trinity Cathedral for their weekly Breakfast program.

St Barnabas’s for their weekly community lunch and food cupboard.

St. Aidan’s for their proposed new weekend food bank for community members who can’t access weekday supports.

Stay safe everyone,

Betina

NWHCS Coalition and Projects Coordinator

Volunteers needed – New West Homeless Count

The goals of the 2020 Homeless Count are to obtain a reliable estimate on the number of people experiencing homelessness, to obtain a demographic profile of those individuals through the count survey, and to identify long-term data trends of homelessness in the region.  It is extremely important for our community to be represented in these findings as Governments, funders and community agencies rely on data from homeless counts to help make informed policy and program decisions.

The Homeless Count is happening March 3rd and 4th; with the shelter count (enumerating individuals experiencing homelessness that are sheltered) taking place on the evening of March 3rd  and the day time street count (enumerating individuals experiencing homelessness that are unsheltered) taking place on March 4th. 

We are still in need of volunteers (4-hour shifts) to help with the count on the 4th. If you are interested, the New Westminster volunteer training is happening on Tuesday, Feb 18th from 6 pm to 8 pm at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

To register you can contact the Count Coordinator Julie via email at homeless2020@outlook.com or phone at 604.351.0160. You can also complete the volunteer application.