When Premier Ford announced the lockdown in March, there has been a continuous increase in demand for CCWN’s assistance. We adjusted our operation to ensure clients were still able to receive the support they required, while in a safe environment for both clients and staff members. Amongst the news, we had local manufacturers reach out to provide personal protective equipment for both staff and clients during this difficult time.

In August, we started to see an increase of almost 20% in clients. The crisis has required CCWN to rethink how to best serve residents of Lincoln because there is an emerging cohort that requires assistance in order to maintain the resilience of our community. CCWN decided to open a COVID-19 Satellite office in Vineland, which aims to boost equitable access to agency services for residents who face barriers accessing our main office or may not be aware of the services we provide. This satellite office will work as a triage centre for local clients.

Residents that were once donors were now using the services they once supported. With our annual food drive this year, we had no idea as to how it would turn out or how much support CCWN would receive due to the pandemic. On September 19th 2020, the residents of Lincoln came together and contributed even more than what we had raised last year! The food collected at this food drive goes to families all year around. This pandemic has required many families, individuals and businesses to adjust to a new “normal”. However, even during a pandemic our Lincoln community came together to support one another.

In the coming months, we expect a slight increase in clients when tax season comes. This is what we’re preparing for: to assist those who need help. Food might just be the beginning of the conversation, but we are here to help anyone who needs it.

This story originally appeared in Hunger Report 2020. To learn more about Community Care West Niagara, visit their website Link opens a new window.

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To support the efforts of food banks across Ontario to help families impacted by COVID-19, donate to Feed Ontario.