The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is partnering with 811 Healthline and community organizations to connect residents of the province who are experiencing food insecurity with community food programs and other supports to access food during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Community Food Helpline has been established through a partnership between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Food First NL, the Jimmy Pratt Foundation, Seniors NL and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of the Deaf, to provide a central point of contact for residents who need help to access food during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Residents of the province can now call the Provincial Government’s 811 Healthline service to access basic information about food programs in their community, including referrals to food banks and meal programs. Healthline operators can also refer callers who require additional support, such as help with an online grocery order or a meal delivery service, to the Community Food Helpline, which is staffed by the Jimmy Pratt Foundation and Food First NL. SeniorsNL is providing database support for this service.
People who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have other communication disabilities, and who need support to access food, can reach out to the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of the Deaf by text or Video Relay Service, at the Deaf Connect Line at 709-699-7022.
Delivery services may also be available for those who are unable to travel to a location where they can access food.
PAL Aerospace is providing food delivery services in St. John’s, Deer Lake, Wabush and Happy Valley-Goose Bay by donating staff time, personal protective equipment, vehicles, and administrative capacity.
Food First NL will deliver food in other communities in partnership with local providers, through funding provided by the Provincial Government.
“Our government recognizes that the current public health emergency has presented additional challenges related to food security within Newfoundland and Labrador. Through this partnership with community organizations we have developed solutions that will help people access food throughout the province. I extend my sincere thanks to these organizations for the work they are doing to support food security.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“Once again, our community has come together to address the needs of vulnerable people during a very difficult time. Community food programs have been working hard to maintain and expand their services, and our government is pleased to support these efforts. I thank all of the community and corporate partners who have made this possible.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development
“This initiative is a key element that will help pull together the wide-ranging work happening to respond to food insecurity during COVID-19. We know there is a digital divide that has emerged, and that toll-free access to speak to someone about food needs will help bridge it.”
CEO of Food First NL
“As foundations, we’re having to shift our focus in order to assist our valuable community groups in stepping up to meet the need in our neighbourhoods. This aligns directly with our mission to support Newfoundland and Labrador’s vulnerable youth and their families.”
Executive Director of the Jimmy Pratt Foundation
“PAL Aerospace has always worked to play a positive, active role in the communities we serve. We’re excited to be involved in this important program and look forward to doing our part to address food insecurity and support those in need through this particularly challenging time.”
CEO of PAL Aerospace.
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