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Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society Launching Second Round of COVID-19 Grant Program

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In response to the longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on homelessness in Surrey, the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society (SHHS) will be launching a second round of funding in September 2020.

The grants will support the ongoing and emerging needs related to COVID-19 of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Grants will be available to charitable organizations providing services to those most vulnerable in Surrey.

“The needs and challenges of the homeless have been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cllr Laurie Guerra, President of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society.

“This second round of grants is an example of how SHHS is able to assess and act promptly to address the needs of the homeless during this time of pandemic. The additional round of funding will ensure organizations have additional means to deploy food programs, purchase emergency supplies, and strengthen staff capacity.”

More information regarding the upcoming call for applications process and key funding priorities will be posted and available on the SHHS website in the coming weeks. For more information, please continue to check the website, or contact Letizia Romei, Vancity Community Foundation.

The first round of grant funding was launched on March 26. The Responsive Grant Program: Urgent Response to COVID-19 granted $250,000 to 19 projects in urgent need of funds.

The vision of SHHS is that Everyone in Surrey has a Home. Since it was established in 2007 in response to the emerging trend of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Surrey, SHHS has granted over $5 million to community in support of Made in Surrey Solutions that build capacity, create homes and fund programs for those experiencing homelessness.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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Community comes together to ease food insecurity concerns for newcomers

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DIVERSEcity Newcomer Food Hamper program in Surrey launches with support from partner organizations

Food insecurity remains a significant concern during COVID-19. DIVERSEcity’s Newcomer Food Hamper program, generously supported by several partner organizations in Surrey, is trying to help by distributing food hampers to low-income families in Surrey.

With $35,000 from the United Way’s Local Love Food Hub funding, DIVERSEcity’s Newcomer Food Hub is working in partnership with the Surrey Urban Farmers Market ordering produce from the market, paid for through the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Coupon Program). The fresh produce is then organized into hampers, along with additional food supplied from Sources Food Hub.

The hampers are then put together by DIVERSEcity staff and volunteers in partnership with Seeds of Change, working (physically distanced!) from their City of Surrey-sponsored location, the City Centre parkade. (Seeds of Change is supporting several food hubs across Surrey through United Way funding.)

Staff and volunteers came together Saturday, August 8, to sort, fill and distribute hampers. The group was happy but dedicated in their efforts, as they worked hard all morning, despite the rainy weather. Serious co-ordination was needed to ensure each hamper was filled correctly, including abiding by any food restrictions the clients may have.

Leo Ramirez, DIVERSEcity’s Community Kitchen Coordinator, who is organizing DIVERSEcity’s efforts, says, “I love that this is a group effort supporting the community. We are thankful to the many organizations, volunteers and staff that come together to make this work.”

One of those on the front lines was Surrey Urban Farmers Market market manager Anna Hall, who was also grateful to all the partners working together for this important initiative. She explained, “This food hub ensures that these families continue to get the fresh produce and food that they need every week.”

While most food hampers are delivered to families directly, some clients did stop by on Saturday to pick theirs up personally. Their smiling faces and gratitude were just another reminder of how important the team’s efforts were. The food hamper program launched July 25 and will continue to run for 10 to 12 weeks; about 50 hampers have already been sorted and distributed to low-income families, seniors and pregnant women.

“It’s been really valuable learning about how to build good partnerships in food access and food security work,” says Fiona Stevenson, manager of Volunteer & Community Programs, DIVERSEcity. “By partnering with Seeds of Change, we have access to the temporary site in the City Centre parkade each week, and we are also able to get additional items of recovered food from Sources Food Hub to add to all the hampers.

This support through the City of Surrey and Seeds of Change and Surrey Urban Farmers Market has been instrumental to venue, logistics, food access, permissions, staffing and more.” For more information, see www.dcrs.ca or contact kitchen@dcrs.ca.

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Central City Brewers + Distillers, BC Lions & BC Seniors Living Association Donate Hand Sanitizer to Independent and Assisted Living Communities

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Central City Brewers + Distillers teams up with BC Lions and BC Seniors Living Association to donate hand sanitizer to independent and assisted living communities. (From left) BC Lions’ players Claudell Louis, team mascot Leo the Lion, Sukh Chungh and Peter Godber.

Central City to donate 200 mL of hand sanitizer for every sale of Red Racer Cruiser 8-pack Mixer

Surrey, B.C. – Central City Brewers + Distillers is teaming up with the BC Lions and BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA) on a new COVID-19 campaign where they will donate 200 mL of hand sanitizer to independent and assisted living communities in B.C. for every sale of the new Red Racer Cruiser 8-pack Mixer.

Central City, which is known for its award-winning beer and spirits including the 2019 Canadian Beer of the Year with its Red Racer After Hours Pale Ale, began producing hand sanitizer back in April 2020, in support of Canadians especially COVID-19 front-line workers.

“We wanted to continue supporting our communities and front-line workers during these COVID-19 times and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with the BC Lions Football Club and BC Seniors Living Association on our new Red Racer Cruiser 8-pack Mixer campaign,” says Brendan Yep, Vice President of Sales at Central City Brewers + Distillers. “As community leaders, it is important for us to contribute and do our part, and this is one way we are giving back to the community.”

In April, Central City donated hand sanitizer to front-line workers, healthcare workers and first responders through the City of Surrey. Now in June and July, Central City will donate additional hand sanitizer to independent and assisted living communities in B.C. through this new Red Racer Cruiser 8-pack Mixer campaign.

“We’re proud to lend our support to help seniors living in independent and assisted living communities throughout B.C. by making hand sanitizer more assessible to them through this partnership with Central City Brewers + Distillers and the BC Seniors Living Association,” says George Chayka, BC Lions Football Club Vice President of Business Operations.

“We are very grateful for the initiative and support of Central City Brewers and Distillers and the BC Lions.” said BCSLA CEO Lee Coonfer. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors’ communities have been put under a tremendous amount of strain to acquire the appropriate PPE and sanitizing products in the appropriate quantities to keep their residents safe.

Seniors’ safety is our priority and through the selfless gestures from the community, the tireless work of our employees and acts of corporate social responsibility, we will be able to meet this challenge and get through this together.”

The Red Racer Cruiser 8-pack Mixer includes 500 mL cans of Pils, Hazy Dreamer Pale Ale, Dirty Blonde Ale and Lager, and will be available in private liquor stores throughout B.C. The Central City Hand Sanitizer is also available for purchase (3L and 1L bottles, and in bulk) at all Central City Liquor Store locations and at the brewery store (11411 Bridgeview Drive, Surrey).

About the BC Lions Football Club

The BC Lions Football Club is Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s most successful professional sports organization with six Grey Cup titles: 1964, 1985, 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2011. Drawing on pride, decades of tradition, passion and a spirit of excellence, the BC Lions Football Club seeks to touch the lives of our community in a positive way and is dedicated to serving partners, sponsors and fans. www.bclions.com

About BC Seniors Living Association:

BC Seniors Living Association is a voluntary, membership-driven organization dedicated to being a valuable source for member development, education and growth. The organization works to promote and protect the best interests of its members, which include the Independent and Assisted Living communities in BC. The cornerstones of BCSLA is based on actively advocating, educating, mediating and celebrating retirement communities and their residents. For more information, please visit our website: www.bcsla.ca/

Social Media: Twitter: @BCSeniorsLiving, | Facebook: BC Seniors Living Association

About Central City Brewers + Distillers:

Central City is a craft brewery and distillery in the business of developing, producing and selling international award-winning, premium craft beer and distilled spirits, made without compromise. Based in Surrey, British Columbia, CCBD won the 2019 Canadian Beer of the Year and was voted Canada’s Brewery of the Year in 2010 and 2012.

Their Red Racer brand has become a cult icon among craft beer enthusiasts throughout North America. Founded in 2003 as a brewpub and liquor store in downtown Surrey, it now also features a state-of-the-art brewery, distillery, warehouse and private liquor store on Bridgeview Drive. www.centralcitybrewing.com

Social media: Instagram: @CentralCityBrew | Twitter: @CentralCityBrew; | Facebook: @CentralCityBrewing

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SurreyCares Community Foundation Part of New Emergency Community Support Fund

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$900,000 available in Surrey for charities supporting COVID-19 response

SurreyCares Community Foundation announced it will be providing over $900,000 to support local charities responding to COVID-19 as part of a partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, funded through the Government of Canada’s $350M Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).

This national effort aims to support vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. SurreyCares is one of more than 100 local community foundations across Canada taking part.

“This is a vital step in the fight against COVID-19,” says John Lawson, Chair of SurreyCares. “It’s a difficult time for everyone, and we know that local charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to support those who are already marginalized in our community. This additional funding is a much-needed boost to their efforts. We’re looking forward to flowing funds quickly to ensure no one in our community is left behind.”

The Emergency Community Support Fund was initially announced on April 21, 2020, by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of a series of emergency response measures by the Government of Canada.

“Canadian charities and not for profits are always there to help you in your time of need. But the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing real challenges to these important organizations. With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada will be there for them so they can continue to be there for Canadians.” explained The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Starting on May 19, SurreyCares Community Foundation will begin accepting applications for funding from qualified local charities, not-for-profits and community organizations. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including staffing, resources, or purchasing supplies. Funding will be issued on an ongoing basis through July 2020. Charities and community organizations are invited to visit the foundation website for eligibility and application details.

“At Community Foundations of Canada, our purpose to ‘relentlessly pursue a future where everyone belongs’ has never felt more important than it does right now,” said Andrea Dicks, Community Foundations of Canada President. “We’re grateful for the leadership of local community foundations like SurreyCares who have been at the forefront of local response efforts since the pandemic was declared.

Thanks to the Government of Canada’s contribution, our network will be able to unlock even more local impact for organizations serving vulnerable groups, helping us set the stage for more inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities.”

SurreyCares’ vision for Surrey is a giving, connected community. SurreyCares’ mission is to inspire donors, grow endowments and invest in people.

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Sikh based groups form Virtual Vaisakhi to raise funds and give back during COVID-19 pandemic/Sikh Heritage Month

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As the world is faced with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a collective of local Sikh based community organizations have come together to celebrate Sikh Heritage Month and Vaisakhi by giving back.

The collective, through Virtual Vaisakhi (fundraising efforts) and invoking the Spirit of Vaisakhi (volunteer initiatives) are raising funds and working with existing community outreach and non-profits within British Columbia to help ease the related economic hardships faced by the communities in which we live and work.

“Every year there are many Vaisakhi Nagar Kiran events that bring thousands of people together to collectively celebrate Sikhi,” noted Jessie Kaur Lehail of Kaur Project/Virtual Vaisakhi. This year, we are directly asking and inspiring Sikhs and non-Sikhs to collectively open their wallets and hearts to help invoke the Spirit of Vaiskahi to address the most pressing and emerging needs with organizations working with local food banks, seniors outreach, marginalized communities and domestic support services. Let’s celebrate Vaisakhi by helping others. We’re all in this together and 100% of proceeds will go directly to community initiatives.”

Currently the collective includes Kaur Project, One Voice Canada, SAF, Khalsa Aid, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, SAMHAA, SikhRi, Future is Partnership, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, SEYVA, S.A.L.M.O.N Project and many others. Guided by the Sikhi based value of Sarbat Da Bhala (service to all) while practicing Charhdi Kala (expansive resilience) and Joash (vibrant courage) and a spirit of giving, Virtual Vaisakhi is asking EVERYONE to invoke the Spirit of Vaisakhi to raise financial support.

As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, the Virtual Vaisakhi campaign and Spirit of Vaisakhi operations will continue nimbly align philanthropic resources based on emerging needs, prioritizing food, medical and emergency assistance for seniors, marginalized and domestic support services. As needs are communicated, it will be of utmost importance for Virtual Vaisakhi/Spirit of Vaisakhi to provide funding to these organizations rapidly.

Virtual Vaisakhi Donate Online

We’re tapping into the strength of collective giving to alleviate the public health and economic consequences of the coronavirus in British Columbia. Virtual Vaisakhi has committed to contributing 100% of money raised to community initiatives. To donate, visit the Virtual Vaisakhi’s website www.virtualvaisakhi.com

Spirit of Vaisakhi Operations

With a little less than one week in combining efforts, the following initiatives are taking place:

  • Over 1500 daily meals are being served
  • 100+ grocery/prescription deliveries
  • Glove and mask coordination/delivery
  • Health care snack/meal delivery

To volunteer or request help visit www.virtualvaisakhi.com

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Happy Singh Eats & Tandoori Flame, Partner to Offer FREE Meals to Frontline Workers and Those in Need

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After spending just over a week and a half making deliveries of pre-packaged meals to frontline workers at Delta, Surrey Memorial and Vancouver General Hospitals, the team at Happy Singh Eats (with support from Tandoori Flame) realized that the community’s need is much greater than they realized. “We started at Delta Hospital, then to Surrey Memorial. After that the Surrey ER and Imaging Centre, VGH ER and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre all reached out looking for similar assistance.

We realized that the need stretched much greater than what we originally thought,” shared Shraey Gulati, Managing Director, Tandoori Flame Restaurants. “We have been blessed to be able to help others, and that itself is another blessing” As a team they have happily obliged to fulfill these requests and continue to do deliveries of hundreds of meals daily to all of these locations for the on-staff frontline workers, however they wanted to consider how they could do more. From that evolved Happy Singh’s Seva Kitchen.

As a subsidiary of Tandoori Flame Restaurants and given that they are not officially open yet, Happy Singh Eats is working with the kitchen team over at Tandoori Flame Delta, just across the road from them, to execute this initiative. Seva is a sanskrit word that means selfless service and is a prominent value within South Asian culture. Keeping that in mind, the answer seemed obvious. Gulati went on to explain that the sentiment of Seva is particularly important for their family ethos. “Our father always taught us to be the giver, whenever and wherever possible.”

Gulati’s father, Galendra Gulati recently returned to Canada from India and his first question when he heard about our hospital deliveries while in self-quarantine was, ‘What about those who are not at the hospital? What about those who have lost their jobs? What are we doing for them?’ He in turn got these thoughts from his father (Shraey’s grandfather), who used to say ‘You have what you have to pass it forward. Help those in need, spread love and kindness. We are JUST a medium.’”

Starting today, Happy Singh’s Seva Kitchen will operate from the take-out window located at Tandoori Flame’s Delta Location (11970 88 Ave, Delta, BC V4C 3C8). Any frontline workers can receive a free meal from their take-out window. They request that if you are in plain clothes that you provide an ID and if you are in uniform, then that’s easy.

They are also offering meals to those who simply cannot afford it right now. COVID19 is impacting our community in so many ways including lost jobs, reduced income, the inability to get groceries and more. If you are in need, we want to help. Free meals will be provided daily between 3pm and 7pm time on a first come, first served basis until meals run out. They do however hope to have enough to go through the entire day.

If however, you are unable to visit within that time frame, you are welcome to come anytime within the take-our hours of noon – 9pm. “We are starting with 3-7pm as we simply do not know what the demand will be like, but we won’t refuse anyone, as long as we have the resources to serve them,” shared Gulati.

When asked how long this program will run, Gulati said, “We don’t know the answer to that yet. We are going to continue for as long as we can and intend to keep our patrons updated via our website.” He also shared that those interested in supporting the initiative can donate meals to the program through their online takeout form at bit.ly/HappySinghDonate.

ABOUT HAPPY SINGH EATS | Happy Singh Eats, the newest restaurant endeavour by Tandoori Flame Restaurants, is slated to open in Summer 2020 with 160 seats inside and 72 outside on a covered patio. Akin to a South Asian version of fast casual dining, it is modelled after popular roadside cafés found all over India providing ready to eat snacks. The new cafe style restaurant will offer dine-in and take-out options with live cooking and over 10 food stations where guests can see popular street style snacks being prepared right in front of them. The menu will include items such as: kathi rolls, a chaat station, a Jr. Happy Singh box meal for kids; thali style meals, Paranthas, a samosa station, a dosa station, traditional curries, pizzas, sandwiches, and more. www.happysingheats.com

ABOUT TANDOORI FLAME | Established in 2009, Tandoori Flame is the largest grand Indian buffet and restaurant in North America. With up to 150 food options and live interactive food stations, the restaurant group now has three locations in Canada – Mississauga, Brampton (Toronto) and Surrey/Delta (British Columbia). www.tandooriflame.com

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