Throughout the pandemic, many Unison clients began to experience additional hardships due to inflation, increased costs of living, and housing insecurity. The primary care teams were also seeing an increase in non-insured clients and newcomers with large families. Many of these individuals expressed concerns about food insecurity and being unable to afford groceries for themselves and their families.
To address the growing needs of these clients, funds from a Food Banks Canada grant were used to purchase Walmart, Dollarama, FreshCo, Sobey’s and President’s Choice gift cards. Case Coordinators and Dietitians would then distribute to these gift cards to clients in need. Once the initial grant funding was completed, there was still a significant need to address food insecurity. In collaboration with the finance team, the primary care management team was able to allocate surplus funds from other program activity areas, to be able to continue the provision of grocery gift cards to clients.
Here is one testimonial from a client: “I am very thankful for this gift card. It has been very hard to live, especially as a single mother of 3, and with everything being so expensive. When I spoke to Wendi about how difficult it is to afford food and she gave me the gift card, I was so happy.”