Osoyoos wine association creates fund to support laid-off hospitality workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

The HOPE (Helping Our People Eat) fund was created in partnership with Oliver Eats, and fuelled by the wine organization's 44 wineries. Karen Valckx

Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country has launched a fund that will support up to 200 family meals per week for members of the region’s hurting hospitality industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

The HOPE (Helping Our People Eat) fund was created in partnership with Oliver Eats and fuelled by the wine organization’s 44 wineries.

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The fund will support workers who have lost their job due to COVID-19.

These workers are usually employed by wineries, restaurants and other hospitality businesses in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country’s region, which extends from McIntyre Bluff to the U.S. border.

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“We are confident of recovery in our region but we know that it rests on the reassurance that our hospitality workers will still be here when that happens,” says Jennifer Busmann, executive director of Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country. 

“Our HOPE Fund is fuelled by our 44 member wineries, with additional funds contributed by our organization, along with some generous donations and the support of the incredible team at Oliver Eats.”

The organization’s 44 member wineries range from some of the largest wine-making brands in the Okanagan Valley to small, independent, family-run estates.

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All are donating to the cause in a unified offering of support, according to the wine association.

“From farm hands to dishwashers, cellar hands to servers, these people are the backbone of our region and it would be shockingly different if they weren’t around,” says Derek Uhlemann, founder of Oliver Eats Ltd. 

“The pandemic is a shared hardship and we wanted to partner with Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country to support our workers with nutritious, delicious family meals.”

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Family meals will feed four people and be prepared with high-quality, local ingredients.

The rotating menu will include chilli con carne, vegan tomato goulash and split pea ham soup.

Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country has committed to raising all costs for the long term, with food provided at cost by Oliver Eats. 

Meals will be prepared in Oliver Eats Ltd.’s kitchen and have contactless collection practices in place, according to the deli.

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For every $5 raised, Oliver Eats can provide a prepared meal for four.

You can donate to the fund here.

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