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NL Government: Provincial Government Partnering with Community to Support Food Sharing Programs

Press Release

March 25, 2020

The Provincial Government is working with community partners to assist in providing food to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and is providing $500,000 to Food First NL to support this effort.

The Departments of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Advanced Education, Skills and Labour and Municipal Affairs and Environment will partner with Food First NL to provide funding to support community food programs in continuing their important services during this challenging time. This may include increased or unprecedented costs for these community providers such as transportation and supplies.

The funding includes $275,000 from the Labour Market Partnerships program, funded under the Canada-NL Labour Market Development Agreement, to support community food providers in addressing staffing issues.

Community food programs that are continuing to safely offer services across the province are eligible to apply for this funding. Details are available on Food First NL’s website.

Food First NL and the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development are co-chairing a task group that includes officials from Provincial Government departments and representatives from community food providers. This group is currently mobilizing a variety of resources to make food available to those who need it.

For example:

  • The Kids Eat Smart Foundation has worked with schools in the province to distribute the food supplies they had on hand for their programs to families and seniors in the community, as well as the Community Food Sharing Association, which supplies food banks across the province.
  • The School Lunch Association is working on plans to distribute the food supplies they have on hand at schools to food service providers throughout the province.
  • With schools currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government is working with both groups to determine the best way to ensure families in the community that need food can get it.

Food First NL and the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development are also in discussions with Indigenous groups in Labrador to determine their food supply needs and how these needs can be addressed.

The working group is also addressing how to best support community food programs to help ensure staff, volunteers and clients of their services are safe and taking proper COVID-19 precautions as they distribute food in the community.

For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19.

For general inquiries related to government services, please call 1-833-771-0696 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday or email [email protected] any time.

Quotes
“Our government is concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect food security for the people of the province, including for some of our most vulnerable individuals. We are committed to working in partnership with community-based organizations to ensure that food is available to those who need it.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“We know that food insecurity is going to be a pressing issue during this pandemic, and we also know that there are grassroots food security organizations across the province who know what their communities need and how to reach them. This investment will enable them to step up their work in this time of need.”
Josh Smee
CEO, Food First NL

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Media contacts
Jeremy Reynolds
Office of the Premier
709-729-3558
[email protected]

Josh Smee
Food First NL
709-725-3049
[email protected]

Gina MacArthur
Children, Seniors and Social Development
709-729-3768, 730-2977
[email protected]

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