The Cloverdale Community Kitchen has created a new hamper program.
On the heels of their decades-long Christmas Hamper Program, Matthew Campbell and the Community Kitchen have launched a hamper program to deliver food to people in isolation because of positive COVID tests.
“We partnered with the United Way to help people who aren’t able to get food during their COVID quarantine for various reasons,” said Campbell, CCK director.
Late in the summer, the United Way first identified people who were having a hard time getting food because of pandemic-related problems.
“It’s a new thing,” he said. “We started it in the summer for anyone in need.”
As the fall began and COVID cases started to rise, Fraser Health started calling.
”They started calling the United Way and saying, ‘Hey! How can we get food to people that are in need, but can’t leave their apartment?’ And so we sat down, virtually, with the United Way and started to figure out how we could do this.”
Campbell said they then decided to pivot in order to help those directly affected by COVID.
That pivot created the brand new program and the United Way then began to identify people who were both low income and had tested positive for COVID, having to self-isolate, or others who simply had no friends or family who could help bring them food and other grocery items while they were sitting out life for two weeks.
Now that the COVID-hamper program is in full swing, Campbell said their weekly deliveries stretch into every corner of the city.
“We deliver to people throughout all of Surrey who can’t get out. People who can’t get out and get food for two weeks.”
Now when Fraser Health identifies someone who must isolate because of COVID and can’t get out to buy the essentials, they contact the Community Kitchen.
“The health nurses call us,” explained Campbell. “We get their addresses and then we add them to the hamper program and get food out to them as fast as we can.”
Campbell said all of his COVID hamper delivery drivers are volunteers. He noted they use full PPE and all of them are trained to deliver the hampers in a safe way.
“They leave the hampers on the doorstep, or they go into apartment buildings and leave them in the front of people’s doors.”
He explained that most people stay on the COVID-hamper program for two to four weeks, depending on how each one is recovering.
CCK officially launched the new program Dec. 1 and it’s set to run until March 31.
Campbell said they put most of the hampers together on Tuesdays and deliver them on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week. He said they give out an average of 35 hampers per week.
“On a really busy week, we can deliver up to 50 hampers.”