Shelters and food programs across the province, who help the most vulnerable members of our society, have had to make a lot of changes. Everyone is struggling with shortages and being pushed to financial and staffing breaking points, but we can’t stop doing what needs to be done.
Shelters are filled to capacity, short staffed and overworked and now they are working with the knowledge that the virus will impact them soon enough. Too many people are living in shelters and struggling with low immunity and other health challenges, putting everyone at a higher risk.
Sandra Nicholas, Brunswick Street Mission Executive Director confirms that “an important and essential way we are helping shelters is to have our professional kitchen prepare daily meals for the shelters!” The idea is simple; we receive food deliveries, our volunteers cook in a lower-risk environment and deliver to each shelter, while maintaining safe distances, giving overworked shelter staff one less thing to worry about.
In mid-March Brunswick Street Mission began to provide 55 breakfast, lunch and supper to Metro Turning Point, or 165 meals daily. We are now preparing breakfast, lunch and/or suppers for 5 shelters and that continues to grow. Our professional kitchen is run by 3 lead cooks along with a small group of volunteers. Personal distancing is so important but we need more volunteers, healthy people who can give a couple days a week to help us prepare the food and delivery it to the shelters. We also need a lot more food. Feed Nova Scotia is supportive of our plan but it won’t be enough. “We need you to make a financial donation to help us purchase the food we need to cook over 350 meals daily”, says Executive Director Sandra Nicholas.