Coronavirus: London Iraqi-Canadian group helping to deliver 400 boxes of food to families in need

Volunteers helping to assemble 105 parcels of food for Arabic families in need during the novel coronavirus pandemic, London, Ontario July 28, 2020. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

The London branch of the Iraqi Canadian Society is delivering 105 boxes of food to families in need during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative is part of a larger effort by the Iraqi Canadian Society to deliver 400 food baskets to Arabic families in need through an $80,000 grant from the Red Cross.

The $80,000 will be used to create 400 food baskets, each filled with $200 worth of dried food to families that applied through the organization.

“There are so many people that were not eligible for either the social support or the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit), and they are struggling right now,” society board member Shetha Roomi said.

She said some of the people they are helping have only recently arrived in Canada and are still relying on extended family members for financial support.

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Over the last day, a team of volunteers has been working on packaging all of the boxes for delivery.

Roomi said 75 of the packages will be going to families in the London area and 30 to families in Windsor, Ont.

Over 750 people applied for the program, so Roomi said only those contacted will receive the parcels.

“I have around 25 families that called me begging for more help, so hopefully we can get more support.”

Those wanting to support the society’s initiatives to help Arabic families during the pandemic can find more information on the website.

Around those supporting the efforts were NDP MPPs Terence Kernaghan and Peggy Sattler.

“We see a lot of really terrible things that happened as a result of the coronavirus, but we also see beautiful things like this where community organizations have come together to support people who are vulnerable,” Kernaghan said.

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