Beginning in March 2020, GlobalMedic worked to adapt and respond quickly to needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic both internationally and here in Canada. Throughout the entirety of our response, we believed that in order to control this virus and the impacts it was having on vulnerable communities, it was extremely important for all agencies (public and private) to work together to ensure the health and safety of the public. At all stages of this pandemic we continue doing our part in this ever-changing situation.
We carried out a series of programs designed to assist institutions and people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Critical Infrastructure Program
The healthcare system in Ontario was inundated with people affected by COVID-19. We offered hospitals critical infrastructure tents that they could for patient triage, dedicated testing spaces, or any other need that arose.
Many food banks were forced to close their doors to patrons to help reduce the spread of the virus. However the need for services food banks provide did not diminish and in fact was increasing. We offered our tents to local food banks in an effort to reduce the number of people in buildings and provide a dedicated area for people to access much needed resources.
We also began setting up temporary tenting in partnership with Toronto Community Housing to run flu shot clinics as well as pop-up COVID-19 testing sites. We helped facilitate vaccinations for 6,260 TCHC residents. We set up tenting that was used for COVID-19 vaccination clinics in hotspot areas of the city. We participated in 309 vaccination events helping 231,779 people receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Impact: We set up critical infrastructure tents at Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank, Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital, the House of Friendship and the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care
Hygiene and Family Kit Distribution
GlobalMedic has a longstanding partnership with Procter & Gamble. Our volunteers construct hygiene kits using P&G products and distribute them to food banks, shelters, and similar institutions across Canada. Each kit contains full size hygiene items like shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste. We ramped up our production to ensure that the most vulnerable continued to have access to these essential needs during such an uncertain time.
Bars of soap from Clean the World were also being given out to similar institutions to ensure everyone was able to properly wash their hands.
Similar to the hygiene kits, we also distributed family kits to food banks and shelters. These kits contain similar hygiene items, but also include cleaning supplies and laundry detergent and are designed to serve a family rather than an individual.
We provided Thank You Kits to front-line workers in hospitals, senior services and long term care facilities across Canada. The kits included hygiene items for showering after work to help keep the workers safe and healthy. With these kits, we wanted to say thank you to the staff who worked incredibly hard to care for some of our most vulnerable community members.
In collaboration with local fire departments, we handed out COVID Safety Kits containing soap and face masks. As the kits were handed out, fire fighters also promoted the 3 P’s of COVID-19 safety.
Impact: We provided 45,555 hygiene kits, 2,614 family kits, 1,082 clean up kits and 67,140 bars of soap to community organizations like Woodgreen Community Services, Street Health Toronto and Blue Door Shelter. We also delivered 36,406 Thank You Kits to front-line workers and 17,130 COVID Safety Kits.
Emergency Food Distribution
Many food banks were and continue to face food shortages, as well as seeing a huge increase in new clients due to the pandemic. We have responded by re-packaging staple foods purchased in bulk into 500g bags ready for use, and delivering them to local agencies that serve vulnerable clients. The staple foods include green peas, pearled barley, red lentils, rice, chickpeas, green lentils and kidney beans.
We are also working with Hand Up Toronto, to supply food to families who are newly food insecure and may not know how to engage with the food bank system through our Feed the Six hamper program. These hampers are delivered through contactless drop-offs or drive through pick ups in the Greater Toronto Area.
In addition, early on in our response we were ordering food directly from the supplier and having it delivered to food banks. This cut down on waiting time, and saved food banks the cost of buying the food themselves.
Impact: We provided over 962,000 kg of dried food staples, 24,000 cans of soup and 50,000 eggs to organizations including the Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank and Muslim Welfare Centre, and included some of these products in the packing of food hampers. We distributed more than 34,294 food hampers containing items like dry goods, pasta and potatoes through our Feed the Six Kits, as well as 23,770 hampers through our partnerships with North York Harvest and IDRF, and produced 49,920 Emergency Food Boxes for Feed Ontario. We assisted Mississauga Food Bank with sorting their backlog of 78 food donation bins. Finally, we distributed $50,000 of grocery store gift cards.
Hand Sanitizer Program
With many local distilleries closed to the public, some shifted their production method to begin producing hand sanitizer. The sanitizer was been approved by Health Canada and it was ready to fill the gap in supply.
We partnered with some of these local distilleries, including Willibald Farm Distillery, Last Straw Distillery and Murphy’s Law Distillery, and provided buckets and distribution networks. Together, we worked to get hand sanitizer to food banks, shelters, hospitals and other healthcare institutions all across Canada. We also worked to deliver hand sanitizer to First Nations communities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in these vulnerable populations.
Finally, we acquired large supplies of hand sanitizer from traditional vendors to ensure we could keep supplying critical institutions and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Impact: We distributed more than 113,200 L of sanitizer to healthcare institutions, First Nations communities, food banks, shelters and other support programs in Canada.
Cash Assistance Program
So many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet due to job losses as a direct result of COVID-19. We initiated a cash transfer program to help supplement the finances of families that have been affected. Participants were referred through partner food banks and children’s breakfast club programs, and were interviewed before receiving the transfer.
“Thank you for giving us the ability to buy groceries and pay rent”Cash Transfer Recipient
Impact: 198 families have received $500 cash transfers.
Kits for First Nations Communities
Many First Nations Communities were especially feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With their locations often remote, access to items like food, hygiene supplies, and personal protective equipment can be difficult and costly.
GlobalMedic and Hydro One partnered to produce and distribute 13,520 kits for First Nations communities across Ontario. These kits included dried foods like rice, lentils, pasta and more, as well as soap, a solar light, and reusable masks.
The kits were designed to support a family for several weeks, and provide them with important resources to keep them safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We also provided 250 kits for Shamattawa First Nation in Northern Manitoba who were struggling with a large outbreak in their community.
Personal Protective Equipment & Medical Supplies
GlobalMedic also worked to make sure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face masks and face shields were available to vulnerable groups and front-line workers, both here in Canada and around the world.
In countries that may be struggling with ongoing humanitarian crises or that are simply seeing their systems overwhelmed from the pandemic, availability of PPE can be a concern.
We have distributed masks and face shields in countries including Antigua, the Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, and Syria.
We also organized shipments of PPE and medical supplies like pulse oximeters to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan as they struggled with intense third and fourth waves of infections and overwhelmed hospitals.
Impact: We distributed more than 853,500 face shields, 39,063,200 face masks, 741,400 hospital gowns and coveralls, 533,900 packs of sanitizing wipes, as well as 2,000 pulse oximeters and 8,720 COVID-19 Rapid Test kits.
Please note that GlobalMedic is taking every precaution to protect its staff and volunteers during this outbreak, including enhanced hygiene practices, and ensuring physical distancing guidelines are followed.