The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund continues to grow and has already put $83,033 into the hands of Salt Spring charities.
As of Tuesday the fund had reached $160,405 of its $200,000 target.
Some $35,300 of the total distributed has been in the form of food gift cards that local charities are giving to community members in need courtesy of Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store.
“We are expecting a continuing increase of clients at the food bank, and with our meal/food delivery services and Tuesday market coupon program,” said Salt Spring Community Services food program manager Simone Cazabon in a press release. “The gift cards are great because they allow people to customize their food preferences and address their sensitivities.”
IWAV has also received gift cards as well as $10,000 from the SSIF emergency fund to support various operations and programming threatened by the closure of the Transitions thrift store. Half of this amount is funded by a Capital Regional District grant-in-aid.
“We are grateful for the generosity of the foundation, CRD director and other donors to care for our community, which has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IWAV executive director Kisae Petersen. “The financial support will be used towards the outreach, counselling and transition house programs that are being accessed by women and children in our community. This contribution will make a difference in their lives as there are IWAV staff to support and guide them during these changing times.”
Foundation board chair Brian Lawson said he hopes the fund will keep growing to meet anticipated demands.
“We are not looking at a normal summer in 2020. In addition to the losses already experienced due to current shutdowns, there will be wide-ranging economic consequences of decreased summer tourism, which many individuals rely upon for their annual income. The foundation will continue to partner with donors and local charities to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, including working on significant issues such as mental health and food security.”
Foundation members hope islanders will continue to support the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. They also encourage people to support a Salt Spring charity of their choice through #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity set for May 5. It was created as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.
Donations to the foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund may be made at ssifoundation.ca or by mail to Salt Spring Island Foundation, Box 244, Ganges PO, Salt Spring Island, B.C., V8K 2V9. People should indicate on their cheques that the donation is for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Charities wishing to apply for a grant are asked to visit www.ssifoundation.ca or contact the foundation’s operations director Shannon Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.