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Not-for-profit, delivery service and beekeepers team up to provide food for Londoners in need

Life Spin has spearheaded the joint program with On The Move Organics (pictured) and LOLA Bees. via On The Move Organics/Facebook

Life Spin has teamed up with On The Move Organics and LOLA Bees to make sure fixed-income families, seniors and expectant mothers in need have direct access to food amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“[It came together] very quickly and we’re just trying to work out logistics,” Jacqueline Thompson, director of Life Spin, said on Friday.

“Just knowing that families shouldn’t be going out and their health puts them at risk of going out made us have to very quickly respond to come up with some creative ways to get people to have food delivered to their homes to try to keep them safe. They’re at risk and they don’t have the mechanisms in place to order food from mainstream places, like, they don’t have credit cards or internet services.”

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READ MORE: How the coronavirus pandemic is affecting food security in Canada

Thompson said the program launched Thursday and by Friday organizers were at 210 boxes and starting to make a list of volunteers to help with food delivery.

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“If there’s that many people in need, On The Move likely won’t be able to handle the amount of deliveries that are going to be needed to get food out at the end of this month because they’re a business that’s already operating at full capacity for their own business.”

Life Spin adds that for those experiencing poverty, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lack of access to resources they previously relied on.

“We deal with high-risk families living in poverty all year round. The big difference at this time is they can’t access all the programs that enable them to get through on those really small, fixed incomes every month,” said Thompson.

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“They’re not going to get the nutrition programs at schools, they’re not going to the community centres to have meals, they’re not going to the seniors’ centre to have community meals, they’re not getting to the food banks that were in community centres that have closed.”

READ MORE: London, Ont., church project sees ‘95%’ of homeless men housed despite COVID-19

Thompson added that for those living in poverty, it’s costing them more to stay at home, whereas others are saving money by saving money on transportation, not going out for entertainment, and having home-cooked meals.

“We’re referring to that as an ‘isolation dividend.'”

Life Spin encourages those who are saving money on transportation, eating at home and enjoying entertainment at home to use those funds to buy a food box for a family in need.

The community food box program is also supported in part by the Ontario Student Nutrition Program, which is gifting 600 families with school-aged children in the postal codes N5W and N5Z their first box over the next four months.

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