Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's legions finding ways to adapt in the face of COVID-19

While legion branches in Nova Scotia are closed, many are still offering services to support veterans.

Branches still contacting veterans, delivering groceries and dropping off meals

Nova Scotia's legion branches are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

Nova Scotia's Royal Canadian Legion branches are suffering from a lack of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With branches closed, the bottom line has been hit hard.

Marion Fryday-Cook, president of the Nova Scotia Nunavut Command, says some branches have the means to ride out the pandemic while others are facing hardships

Government support is on the way, according to Fryday-Cook, but she estimates it could still be up to six weeks away, meaning financial hardship for rural legions.

There are 101 legion branches in Nova Scotia. Fryday-Cook said some will soon be dipping into the general fund, or poppy funds.

However, Fryday-Cook said assistance will soon be on the way from the Dominion Command to assist branches that are in need.

That funding could be coming within the next two weeks.

"To assist branches that are in need to stay open, or to pay bills until we do get open, and that will be coming down the pipes," she said.

Check-ins, meal delivery for veterans

Some of the main sources of income for legions include catering and bar sales, but members are still finding ways to support veterans.

Fryday-Cook said branches are still contacting veterans and providing check-ins, delivering groceries and dropping off meals.

"There are branches that are struggling, no doubt; they're small, they have 20 members or more and they have bills to pay," Fryday-Cook said.

Although branches have shut their doors, the Nova Scotia Nunavut Command headquarters in Dartmouth is operating.

Fryday-Cook said legion members will continue to help veterans during these days of uncertainty, and anyone seeking help is encouraged to reach out to a local legion branch.