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

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

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Google/Screencap)
BC Coroners Service investigating death at a North Saanich marina

Death said to have happened late Monday night

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

West Shore RCMP is looking for a suspect and their minivan, which crashed into a parked vehicle and home along the 200-block of Island Highway in View Royal on Jan. 18. (Black Press Media file photo)
Driver crashes into parked car and home in View Royal, speeds away: RCMP

Incident took place near 200-block of Island Highway Monday night

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Most Read