GlobalMedic is responding to needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic both internationally and here in Canada. We believe in order to control this virus, it is extremely important for all agencies (public and private) to work together to ensure the health and safety of the public, and we are doing our part in this ever-changing situation.
We are carrying 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 has been inundated with people affected by COVID-19. We have offered hospitals critical infrastructure tents that they can use for patient triage, dedicated testing spaces, or any other need that arises.
Many food banks have been forced to close their doors to patrons to help reduce the spread of the virus. However the need for services food banks provide has not diminished. We have 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 have also been 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 have set up tenting that is being used for COVID-19 vaccination clinics in hotspot areas of the city. To date, we have participated in 309 vaccination events helping 231,779 people receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Impact: We have 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 have ramped up our production to ensure the most vulnerable continue to have access to these essential needs in this uncertain time.
Bars of soap from Clean the World are also being given out to similar institutions to ensure everyone is able to properly wash their hands.
Similar to the hygiene kits, we have also been distributing 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 are providing Thank You Kits to front-line workers in hospitals, senior services and long term care facilities across Canada. The kits include hygiene items for showering after work to help keep the workers safe and healthy. With these kits, we want to say thank you to the staff who are working incredibly hard to care for some of our most vulnerable community members.
In collaboration with local fire departments, we are handing out COVID Safety Kits containing soap and face masks. As the kits are handed out, fire fighters are also promoting the 3 P’s of COVID-19 safety.
Impact: We have 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 have also delivered 36,406 Thank You Kits to front-line workers and 17,130 COVID Safety Kits.
Emergency Food Distribution
Many food banks are facing food shortages, and seeing a huge increase in new clients due to the pandemic. We are responding 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, we have also been ordering food directly from the supplier and having it delivered to food banks. This cuts down on waiting time, and saves food banks the cost of buying the food themselves.
Impact: We have provided over 939,800 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 have distributed more than 30,597 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 have shifted their production method to begin producing hand sanitizer. The sanitizer has been approved by Health Canada and it ready to fill the gap in supply.
We have partnered with some of these local distilleries, including Willibald Farm Distillery, Last Straw Distillery and Murphy’s Law Distillery, and are providing buckets and distribution networks. Together, we are getting hand sanitizer to food banks, shelters, hospitals and other healthcare institutions all across Canada. We are also working to deliver hand sanitizer to First Nations communities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in these vulnerable populations.
Finally, we have worked to acquire large supplies of hand sanitizer from traditional vendors to ensure we can keep supplying critical institutions and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Impact: We have distributed more than 112,000 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 have been feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With their locations often remote, access to items like food, hygiene supplies, and personal protective equipment is 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 will 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 is also working to make sure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face masks and face shields are 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 are currently organizing shipments of PPE and medical supplies like pulse oximeters to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan as they struggle with a new wave of infections and overwhelmed hospitals.
Impact: We have distributed more than 853,500 face shields, 38,911,400 face masks, 493,800 hospital gowns and coveralls, 530,200 packs of sanitizing wipes, as well as 2,000 pulse oximeters.
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.