(Mustard Seed Street Church and Food Bank/Facebook)

An emergency grant of $3 million will be distributed among food banks across British Columbia.

The money will be distributed by Food Banks BC among not-for-profit organizations that require immediate support to buy and distribute food, pay employees, and cover other costs essential to the delivery of their food programs.

This $3 million grant comes from the amount left over from in the Community Gaming Grant’s 2019-20 budget of $140 million after all 2019 community gaming grants had been awarded to or approved for eligible organizations.

“We know that many British Columbia families count on food banks to supplement their weekly grocery needs. To help ensure that people continue to have access to the food they need, our government is taking steps by supporting B.C. food banks so they can, in turn, keep meeting the needs of the people in the communities they serve,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction.

“Using funds from the gaming grants program is an example of how government and non-profit partners are working together to respond to the evolving nature of the pandemic, easing the burden on B.C.’s food banks and helping people who are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 crisis.”

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

Community reliance on food banks has increased since the start of the pandemic and measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 caused loss of income for many in the province.

This grant is made available in conjunction with the ministerial order issued on March 26th which removes barriers to business to allow drive-through and delivery opportunities, larger hampers, increased home delivery capability, and removes the requirement to present identification.

All of these measures should make it easier for food banks to operate safely during this pandemic.

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.