Submitted by Noreen Steinacher
The last few days have been a whirl wind of change and many adjustments for all of us in response to COVID-19. The Not for Profit sector and its many organizations across Bruce and Grey County are no exception. The Meeting Place and the Tobermory Food Bank as a charitable organization continue working to ensure residents who may be more vulnerable can access supportive services as needed. These include the Food Bank, considered an essential service at this time, the Community Information and Resource Coordination (CIRC) service and the Income Tax program for lower income earners.
These services rely heavily on volunteers who are stepping up to try to meet demand and everybody is working together with guidelines from Public Health and United Way to provide a safe service delivery for all. The Meeting Place building has been closed to the general public under Municipal direction and many of its usual recreation and child and youth programs are on hold. For the important social support services, we have designed some new ways to access support with limited use of the building, applying social distancing measures and use of internet video platforms.
The Tobermory Food Bank, at the time of writing, will be open Tuesday afternoons, 1-3 pm at The Meeting Place, 20 Centennial Drive, Tobermory. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Linda at 519-596-2333 or Jim at 519-375-7010, or e-mail email@example.com. If Food Bank clients are self-isolating, you can call the above numbers and arrangements for delivery can be made.
Community Information & Resource Coordination at The Meeting Place: With new information to support those impacted by layoffs, child-care and business closures, we hope government service staff are going to be there to help with your specific questions on applications for financial supports. Try to access them with your questions and needs. However, if you need help with navigating information or reassurances that support is available you can call Jennifer, Community Coordinator at 519-596-2313 and leave a message or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone support is available and we are setting up a secure chat room function as another way of keeping in touch. Information updates on local services will also be posted on the TMP facebook page. The 211 Ontario community connections phone service also has a COVID -19 pandemic response. You may find this helpful.
CVITP, the community volunteer income tax prep service is available through The Meeting Place to qualified families/individuals. Please call 519-596-2313 to arrange drop-off of your tax papers. We are committed to providing this important service at this time of year.
There will be many stories of amazing efforts and outreach during this time. This has already started. Last Tuesday’s combined Food Bank service and tax forms drop off at TMP in Tobermory was achieved with a plan, precautionary measures and a spirit of cooperation among residents, volunteers and staff working together. And remember through all of this, most of us can still get out and walk for exercise, enjoyment of the warmer spring weather and preserving good mental health.