The Market on Millstream is supporting local military families with free grocery assembly and delivery all the way out to Sooke to thank them for their hard work and make things a little easier during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After reading a Black Press Media story about a Sooke woman who was shamed for bringing her children to the grocery store because her husband is deployed and she had no one to look after them, Lisa Church felt compelled to do something.
As the community engagement manager at the CFB Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre, Church decided to look for local grocery stores that could deliver to military families whose loved ones are deployed. She approached the Market on Millstream and learned they’d be willing to help.
Church said some ships have been re-deployed in order to keep a percentage of the military safe from COVID-19. Eight ships from CFB Esquimalt – or 850 members – are currently deployed, meaning many families are left without their partners and loved ones.
“We’ve got families who have been left behind, some with kids who don’t have an option but to take them grocery shopping,” Church said. “The situation is unique too because people don’t have others too look after their children because of isolation.”
Some families who have been deployed are from other parts of Canada as well, Church noted, so they don’t have family nearby.
Darryl Hein, owner of The Market Stores, said when he saw the story about the Sooke woman, he felt compelled to do something as well. Speaking from experience, Hein said grocery store workers providing an essential service often face criticism during the pandemic as well.
“It struck a chord with me with this woman being berated,” Hein said. “We know how that feels and want to help.”
The Military Family Resource Centre will contact military families with deployed members with information about the Market on Millstream’s program. They’ll be able to e-mail the grocery store and receive groceries without paying for delivery or assembly.