Makoha Farms in Saanich has started the Community Food Project to drop off food bags to those in need. (Courtesy of Amy Lobb)

Greater Victoria businesses pivot to help community with funds, food

Businesses change up operations amid COVID-19 pandemic

Local businesses and organizations are pivoting to help community members as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Macdonald Real Estate Group will donate a portion of their agent’s monthly office fees to the Victoria Rapid Relief Fund. The fund is raising money for COVID-19 emergency relief in the region. Local registered charities and qualified recipients providing front-line services to vulnerable populations whose operations and staff have been impacted by the pandemic are able to benefit from the fund, which has raised over $5 million since March 21.

The Victoria Foundation chairs the fund and received the first donation of $1,200 from Macdonald Real Estate Group as well as a commitment to continue monthly donations while real estate agents work from home.

“We saw an opportunity to shift the focus and support our community during this critical time,” said Ara Balabanian, managing broker of Macdonald Realty’s Victoria and Sidney offices. “Real estate has been deemed an essential service by the B.C. Government so while the doors to our office are closed, we are fortunate to be able to continue offering essential services to clients from our homes.”

Dodd’s Furniture & Mattress is also supporting the Rapid Relief Fund. The furniture retailer is donating 10 per cent of all online sales at doddsfurniture.com. Cash donations can also be made in-store at Dodd’s in Victoria and Campbell River.

Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s ReStore is moving to online sales as well. The eStore at habitatvictoria.com lets customers browse products and arrange for curbside pickup at the West Shore location or delivery of larger items within Greater Victoria for a small fee.

“As a charity retailer we wanted to provide this opportunity,” said Jim Walker, director of retail operations for Habitat Victoria. “We understand many of our shoppers are looking for more affordable options for their homes and cannot always afford to buy new.”

The ReStores are also gearing up to accept donations from the public again but in the meantime ask donors to hang on to items. The charity has continued to receive products from the local business community.

“It’s not business as usual, but we are back and working towards opening up more services as soon as we have all the safety procedures in place,” Walker said. Habitat Victoria has experienced a loss in revenue and donations but is moving forward with build projects this year in Central Saanich and North Saanich.

Makoha Farm in Saanich has also started a new initiative called the Community Food Project. Partnering with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association and Langford Fire Rescue, the program is set up to offer ongoing support for those in need throughout the farming season.

The farm is putting together food bags with items from Makoha Farm and other small, local food suppliers. The bags are then delivered in a contactless method while maintaining the privacy of its recipients and contributors. The recipients are identified by Makoha Farm’s partner organizations. Community members can purchase a food bag, priced at $29 or $39 through the Makoha Farm online store at makohafarm.com/shop.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read