Surrey – SurreyCares Community Foundation has provided a $9,000 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to the MOSAIC Community Lunch Box project. The Community Lunch Box Project aims to respond to food insecurity issues that newcomers (immigrants and refugees) face. This project will alleviate acute food insecurity by providing a culturally safe and accessible food program.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted immigrant and ethnocultural communities, sharply highlighting the vulnerabilities and inequities that newcomer populations face with regard to food security and healthcare. Lack of access to timely information, lack of support and financial resources and exclusion from essential social benefits are prime examples,” explained Sharon Butler, Director, MOSAIC. “Many of our clients have lost their income due to the pandemic, are struggling without enough food and face malnutrition. Some are unable to get to the grocery stores due to lack of available transit, long line-ups, health risks, mobility issues or fear of contracting COVID-19.
The Community Lunch Box project is different than other programs in that clients develop their weekly grocery list and empowers them to take charge of the process and be actively involved. The project is also led by staff members and volunteers from diverse backgrounds with multi-lingual capacities, which ensures increased accessibility for clients with limited English skills. The project will benefit vulnerable newcomer families by addressing food security issues and connecting them to community resources. Settlement workers will continue providing information and orientation to isolated newcomer families so that they can build resilience and have support navigating the Canadian systems to address settlement and integration challenges.
This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now, over $575,000 in the second round.