How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected our more vulnerable populations?
The impact of our current state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has severely exacerbated food and housing insecurity issues faced by the most vulnerable members of our community every single day. “Self-isolation” and “social distancing” become impossible mandates to adhere to for those already experiencing homelessness and food scarcity. Sadly, many of our partner agencies have been forced to close down, leaving only a few workers to brave this storm and provide reduced and/or emergency services only. There is a lot more that needs to be done to support our marginalized neighbours, and the time to act is now.
This is where the exciting story really starts to take shape.
Amidst this widespread uncertainty and closures, we are seeing amazing people express a desire to extend a helping hand in any way they can. Over the past few weeks, I have been inundated with messages on my phone and email inbox asking how they can help. Agencies have also been reaching out to see what resources we have available, and they have even offered to provide us with their surpluses. Please see our frequently asked questions below for more on this.
Our unique position to bring people and resources together
Lionhearts has a significant delivery network and very close relationships with our partner agencies. This has positioned us to be able to bring together a wealth of expertise, a surplus of various resources as well as an army of well-trained and carefully-screened volunteers. We are excited to announce the creation of an innovative and safe initiative to make a tremendous difference in the lives of those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: Lionhearts Meals To-Go.
Through collaboration with our local partners and volunteers, Lionhearts Meals To-Go provides a variety of resources throughout our community. For the next number of weeks, we will be stationed at the following locations for 1 hour daily to provide everyone who stops by with some great take-home meal options including grab-and-go snacks, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh bread and pastries, hot chocolate as well as a point of entry (listening ear) to access other required emergency services.
Lionhearts Meals To-Go Locations and Times
|PICK UP LOCATIONS||DAYS||TIME|
|Kingston Community Health Centre||Everyday||5 – 6 PM|
|McBurney (Skeleton) Park||Everyday||6 – 7 PM|
|Amherstview Community Hall||Tues/Thurs/Sat||5 – 6 PM|
1) Kingston Community Health Services at 263 Weller Avenue in Kingston
Lionhearts has partnered with KCHS’s Weller location to prepare and distribute meals to-go onsite that are available for pick-up from 5:00 to 6:00 PM daily.
2) McBurney Park (a.k.a. Skeleton Park) at 157 Ordnance Street in Kingston
A Lionhearts mobile unit will be stationed at McBurney Park in downtown Kingston serving meals to-go from 6:00 to 7:00 PM daily. Fresh socks/towels, warm clothing, personal toiletries are also available at this location.
3) Amherstview Community Hall, 177 Upperpark Road
Tuesdays / Thursdays / Saturdays
5:00 – 6:00 PM
4) Morningstar Mission in Napanee – delivery
Lionhearts has partnered with Morningstar Mission in Napanee to deliver meals to-go packages 3 days per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
What will it take to help out our friends and neighbours?
We have taken a portion of our reserve fund and early financial contributions to get this initiative started, but we need additional financial support to continue expanding this project. As the situation continues to evolve, we need to have the necessary resources available to support those in need. To ensure that this is accomplished in the safest way possible, we are procuring products only from HACCP certified supply chains. That means we are required to purchase supplies and restrict product donations. This is more expensive, but it is the only safe solution available to us right now.
Please consider donating today to change the lives of our most vulnerable friends and neighbours. At times of great uncertainty, becoming a monthly donor is one of the best ways you can help people experiencing homelessness in Kingston now and through the coming months. Monthly donations provide a predictable funding source for life-changing programs and services. We can plan ahead knowing we have your support. You can do this on the lionhearts.ca website donate page (specify the COVID-19: Street Project fund) or by sending a direct e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, (please reference the COVID-19 Street Project and include your name and address, if you would like a tax receipt).
Your help is needed. Thank you for partnering with us.
*Updated* Watch and share this video! We are feeding those who need to be fed. Helping them to stay healthy helps us all.
April 7, 2020 – Lionhearts Inc. extends COVID-19 Street Project to feed Kingstonians in need (Global News article)
April 7, 2020 – A video update from YourTV Kingston.
March 26, 2020 – Article by The Kingston Local