Schulich Alumna Delivers Grocery Program for Low-Income Kids
As schools remain closed across Toronto and many working families struggle with layoffs due to COVID-19, thousands of kids are not receiving the meals they normally do through breakfast and lunch programs. Gina Lee (MMGT ’17) decided to help this critical segment of the community that is being neglected at this time of crisis.
Gina decided to launch a COVID-19 emergency relief initiative called Hand Up for Kids to deliver grocery care packages to low-income families with kids. While doing her studies at Schulich, Gina started to volunteer with fellow students with Hand Up Toronto (HUT), the organization that Hand Up for Kids is under.
“HUT’s regular programs focus on homelessness and poverty alleviation and I thought I could really work with them on this initiative,” she said. The goal is to reach 17,000 families who signed up for the grocery care packages, feasible with food donations and facilities donations from the community and businesses. It’s a unique initiative since the grocery care packages are delivered to the families’ doorsteps. Families who are unable to leave the house for various reasons – multiple kids, caring for the elderly, et cetera – are grateful for this level of service.
“Volunteers’ roles are super crucial to this kind of emergency relief initiative as we need to reach many people in a short time,” said Gina. “We are following Health Canada protocols and also providing PPEs to volunteers who work at the packing site. We have various positions even in the executive/operations team, so there are so many different ways to be involved.”