(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)

One of the major challenges for cities when it comes to curbing the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic is taking care of vulnerable populations.

Particularly in a time where self isolation and social distancing is the order of the day, shelters and food banks across the country are struggling to provide food and safe spaces for those who need it most.

See also: Our Place Society releases emergency plan in response to growing COVID-19 concerns

The Victoria Cool Aid Society has announced that they can no longer accept donations of goods or food, including packaged foods.

This also includes leftovers from coffee shops, bakeries and grocery stores, that is a source of food that people on low incomes depend on each day.

While these measures are necessary to protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19, the shelter has released one way in which people can still help.

The Cool Aid Society is now calling for donations of grocery store gift cards that can be donated through their online shopping cart at this link.

“Cool Aid will use your donation immediately to buy the gift cards and give them to people facing food insecurity,” reads a statement from the charitable organization.

Those who wish to help can also send financial donations online at CoolAid.org/donate, call 250-383-1977, or mail a cheque to 101-749 Pandora Avenue, Victoria BC, V8W 1N9.

Volunteers have also been asked to stay home at this time to help curb the spread of COVID-19.


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


This morning, the federal government announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.

On Tuesday, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Today, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.

The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.

Canada has also tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada. U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule.

Moreover international flights will now be restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 217,583.

Nearly 9,000 people have died from the illness and 84,383 have made a full recovery.