Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre receives grant from SurreyCares to help seniors, new immigrants

SURREYCARES Community Foundation has provided a $32,026 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to the Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre to assist in providing hampers (containing groceries and essential items) to 300 seniors and newly landed immigrants in Surrey who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

The foundation said the COVID-19 pandemic has had particularly damaging impacts on seniors and newly landed immigrants in Canada, exacerbating feelings of social isolation and threatening livelihood through the loss of jobs. According to Statistics Canada’s recent report on senior support during COVID-19, seniors who are classified as low-income and immigrant seniors were less likely to have social support during the pandemic. Newly landed immigrants (including refugees) have also been shown to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

As such, Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre has designed their hamper project to alleviate food insecurity experienced by these vulnerable populations during the pandemic. These monthly hampers contain groceries (e.g., cereals, grains, canned items, baby formula), and essential items (e.g., toothpaste, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene items). 

“We are confident that this project will be instrumental in alleviating food insecurity and providing essential hygiene items for 300 seniors and new immigrants in Surrey, in addition to enhancing mental wellness and providing social support for these vulnerable individuals,” said Mobin Minto from the Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre.

To support the project, the Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre planned to hire a Project Coordinator and two Hamper Assemblers/Drivers. The Project Coordinator will be responsible for client intake, obtaining community feedback and the purchase of groceries/items. The Assemblers/Drivers will be responsible for preparing the monthly food/essential item hampers and delivering them to approved clients. The Project Coordinator will also assist with hamper preparation and delivery as required. 

This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now, over $575,000 in the second round.

Christine Buttkus

“We are grateful to be able to support the Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre in supporting seniors and new immigrants who are unfortunately struggling during this pandemic,” said Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares Community Foundation. “Seeing the Guildford Islamic Cultural Centre come together and offer support to vulnerable members of our community during the pandemic is heartwarming.”

The Emergency Community Support Fund is being delivered through a national partnership with Community Foundations of CanadaUnited Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.  

John Lawson

“We’re grateful to the Government of Canada for this much-needed boost benefitting local charities,” said John Lawson, Chair of SurreyCares Community Foundation. “Charities and non-profit organizations have been leading the charge to assist those who need it most in the fight against COVID-19. We know the need for funding is still significant and we’re continuing to advocate for additional funding.” 

Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund.