COVID-19 Response and Schedule Changes
By Stephanie Shulhan in Food Safety on March 16, 2020
Updated April 10, 2020: The Richmond Food Bank Society’s response to COVID-19 is as follows:
- We will be adapting our services temporarily, providing pre-packaged hampers for our clients to pick up from our Cedarbridge Way location only (instead of our usual choice-based model in which clients choose their groceries). Until further notice, once-weekly hampers will be available only from #100 5800 Cedarbridge Way, Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays 10am – 3pm (there is no food being given out on Fridays, and we are closed on Sundays). As always, clients can visit the Richmond Food Bank to get groceries only one time per calendar week.
- We continue to regularly clean and sanitize work spaces and frequently-touched surfaces (this is a matter of food safety and health as well). We have daily janitorial staff, plus protocols for workers to keep work spaces clean.
- Volunteers and workers wear disposable gloves, cloth masks (if available) and required personal protective equipment when working.
- We have put up posters reminding everyone how to stop the spread of germs, and also symptoms to watch out for. We send email reminders and updates to all volunteers and workers.
- One important way the virus is thought to spread is person-to-person (through direct contact, and/or between people who are within about 6 feet of each other, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks). If your team, organization, school group, or faith-based group is hoping to schedule a tour of the Richmond Food Bank Society for educational or team-building purposes in the near future (even if it is a small group), we will ask you to postpone your visit. Volunteer shifts are continuing – in small teams – so that we can continue to operate and serve the Richmond community.
Here are some important things for us all to do, to avoid spreading illness:
- Stay home whenever possible, and practice social distancing.
- Wash your hands frequently, with water and soap, for at least 20 seconds.
- Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue (or into your elbow) then discard the tissue and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth), especially with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick (especially fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing), stay home except to get medical care.
- If you are sick or quarantined and need to stay home, but you are worried because you need to pick up food for the week, please try to have somebody pick up food for you (they will need your ID if they are not in your household). Or please call us: 604 271 5609.
- Volunteers and staff of the Richmond Food Bank are required to stay home for at least 10 days if they show any symptoms of cold/flu, or fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- If you have traveled outside BC in the last 2 weeks, stay home for at least 14 days.
- You can call 811 for health advice, or try Richmond Public Health at (604) 233-3150. There is also a COVID-19 Information Service number: 1-833-784-4397
A note to our donors:
As always, thank you so much for supporting the Richmond Food Bank Society. As the need for food bank usage often increases in difficult times (some Richmond workers may need to take unpaid sick leave from work, certain industries have been affected, workers face temporary lay-offs leading to financial hardship, etc.), we especially appreciate donations of funds, which allow us to purchase the particular items that the Richmond community needs most as the needs arise. You can donate securely online through Canada Helps, and a tax receipt will be issued for donations over $20. You can also mail cheques made out to the Richmond Food Bank to #100 5800 Cedarbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X 2A7, or donate by Visa or Mastercard over the phone (604 271 5609). Thank you.
Our hearts are with everyone affected by COVID-19. We encourage all community members to support one another to the best of their abilities, and to do so safely.