Calgary

Here's how Calgarians are helping their community during the COVID-19 pandemic

The situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic has been evolving at a rapid pace — and just as quickly, people are looking for ways to step up and support the vulnerable members of their community.

From care packages to shovelling sidewalks, people are stepping up to support their neighbours

Volunteers at the Calgary Food Bank sort donations on Friday. The food bank has stepped up cleaning routines and is hoping to recruit more volunteers, as clients are still in need during the coronavirus pandemic. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

There's a story the late children's television host Fred Rogers reportedly used to tell about how his mother would help him handle alarming events in the world when he was a child.

"Always look for the helpers," she would say. "There's always someone who is trying to help."

The situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic has been evolving at a rapid pace — and just as quickly, people are looking for ways to step up and support the vulnerable members of their community.

Here's a look at what the helpers in Calgary are doing.

Care packages

Calgary Co-op is offering free care packages for people who are required by a public health agency to be quarantined.

The packages will contain non-perishable food essentials like canned meat, pasta sauce and juice, and will be delivered up until April 15.

To request a care package, you can email your name, address, phone number, the start and end of your quarantine, and your closest Calgary Co-op store to memberengagement@calgarycoop.com.

Accessible healthy food

Non-profit Fresh Routes is rolling out a delivery system to limit social contact for vulnerable people who need access to healthy food.

The mobile grocery store offers produce at a reduced cost, and organizers tweeted that they will bring food straight to seniors' complexes and affordable housing units.

Free WiFi

Calgary-based Shaw Communications announced it will open up its more than 100,000 WiFi hotspots across Canada for free to the public to help people stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company also gave its TV customers access to free channels, including news and children's TV, to help families stay informed and entertained if they are self-isolating or quarantined.

Free book deliveries 

This one is a boon for their business, too, but The Next Page is offering free deliveries for people in the Calgary area.

"We want everyone to feel safe and healthy during these uncertain times. We know books can be a comfort and a way to stay hopeful, so we are offering free deliveries to folks in the Calgary area until further notice," the local book store posted on social media. 

Helping each other

Calgarians are finding ways to pitch in and help their neighbours. For example, nearly 2,500 people have joined a Facebook group to find ways to help each other, from people offering to deliver supplies to strangers to shovelling their sidewalks.

The Al-Qaim charity foundation in Calgary is among the non-profit organizations offering help to those who are isolated or need assistance with food hampers, etc.

Others are sharing lists of restaurants that offer gift cards to keep local businesses up and running as demand drops.


Do you know of anyone doing something to help their community? Let us know about it at sarah.rieger@cbc.ca.

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