BRAMPTON, ON (May 6, 2020) – Today marks the 100th day since the City of Brampton held its first Emergency Operations Centre meeting in response to COVID-19.
As the situation escalated in March, the City took significant steps to help protect the health and safety of the community, including facility closures, program cancellations, and a Declaration of State of Emergency.
Recognizing the virus’s devastating impacts on the City’s most vulnerable communities and economy, Mayor and Councillors announced four specialized teams and program to support those in need: the Mayor’s COVID-19 Economic Support, Social Support, Seniors Support, and Youth Support task forces, and the Backyard Garden Program.
With the support of local partners, volunteers and businesses, these task forces have provided support to thousands across the City.
Mayor Patrick Brown said, “While staying apart, our community has united in the most impactful and meaningful way possible. Residents, partners, and local businesses have stepped up to provide support to those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. As we look to the eventual reopening of the City, we know that we still have a lot of work left to do. I ask that residents continue to stay the course, follow the advice of our healthcare experts and remain committed to supporting one another.”
Backyard Garden Program
• Received more than 11,000 requests for participation in the program to date (with approximately 5,000 residents on a waitlist). The program is now at capacity.
Economic Support Task Force
• Supported more than 5,000 businesses through: one-to-one support and consultation, virtual seminars and training, help in pivoting operations to meet new COVID-19 needs and navigating legislation, helping businesses ramp up to source additional space.
• Engaged nearly 900 small businesses through tele-town halls to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 and potential solutions.
Seniors Support Task Force
• Responded to 280 requests for information and resources and completed 113 grocery runs.
• Engaged with 35 community organizations serving seniors to provide information on City supports and programs.
• Supported the launch of a Seniors Digital Café to encourage active aging and well-being, and engaged seniors groups through two telephone town halls.
• Partnered with local grocers: Longo’s, India Bazaar Fresh Piks and Fortinos, in developing a payment card program for seniors unable to complete orders online.
Social Support Task Force
• Developed an emergency food distribution system through partnership with four food distribution anchors: Regeneration, Knights Table, Khalsa Aid and United Sikhs. More than 1,500 meals and groceries have been delivered to Brampton residents in the last seven weeks – an average of about 215 meals per week. All of this wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers who have contributed a total of 550 hours of service.
• Established a centralized system to support anchor food distributors. A total of 31,699 pounds of food donations have been received, as well as 40 cases (100 pieces per case) of takeout containers and 6,000 clamshell containers.
• Supported the Region in helping 3 willing encampment occupants access housing, funding, and other supports requested.
Youth Support Task Force
• Launched a Youth Survey that asked youth, ages 14-29, about how COVID-19 is impacting them. To date, more than 200 youth responded.
• Meets with 35 youth-serving organizations on a bi-weekly basis to hear concerns and provide support as requested.
• Hosts ongoing online activities, from Instagram Live chats to fun TikTok videos, to keep youth active and engaged while staying home. This week, the City is celebrating National Youth Week (May 1-7) with free, virtual activities.
More information on available resources and how to help support during this time is available at www.brampton.ca/COVID19.