(BC Ferries food donation/Submitted)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Ferries has opted to suspend all food services onboard ships and at ferry terminals.

This measure was introduced on Thursday, one day before Friday’s provincial health order in which Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that all restaurants would be required to switch to a take-out/delivery model if they wish to continue to operate.

See also: BC Ferries announces multiple sailing cancellations until April 8 due to reduced demand

The ferry company announced that their decision to not serve food was originally made to encourage social distancing, and the ferries still offered grab-and-go food onboard vessels.

However with customers changing their habits in light of COVID-19, most people have been choosing not to purchase grab-and-go food items leading to tremendous food waste.

The only food offerings onboard ferries now are in vending machines.

Rather than let their perishable food go to waste, BC Ferries has donated 2,400 pounds of food to the Rainbow Kitchen, a charitable organization in Victoria that provides hot, nutritious meals every weekday to those in need.

“The food came from five ships and Lands End café. The items included things like mashed potatoes, coleslaw and fresh produce like cucumbers and onions,” reads a statement from BC Ferries.

Rainbow Kitchen serves the community of Esquimalt and beyond with food security measures from week day cold breakfasts or hot lunches prepared and served each day to providing food resources to thousands of others in the CRD through partnerships with other local food security agencies.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

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