Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada is investing $100 million to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds will be distributed through organizations like Food Banks Canada and the Salvation Army.
Trudeau also asked Canadians to reach out to local food banks if they can, as the food banks have fewer volunteers and higher demands.
According to the government, this funding will be used to purchase food and other basic necessities, and will help to buy or rent equipment and other materials to help address the unique needs of the communities they serve and the health-related challenges presented by COVID-19.
“The pandemic is creating a lot of uncertainty,” said Trudeau, adding that the government is investing in food banks so “you can meet the urgent needs of your family.”
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Along with the funding for food needs, the prime minister also announced that, as it begins working with local industry to produce goods needed by health care workers, the federal government has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada to manage the distribution of the medical equipment to provinces and territories.
On Thursday, Trudeau said he was meeting with provinces and that Canada was looking to coordinate its efforts around data sharing and modelling about the COVID-19 pandemic.
This morning the prime minister said that “many more people are being tested,” and repeated the data will be available soon.
“We’re working hard to verify the latest figures so we can put them online,” he said. “We need to make sure we have a better grasp on the accuracy of the data before we put projections out there.”
Trudeau said projections are challenging, but Canadians’ behaviour will make a difference.
“I’d like to be able to tell when this will be over,” he said. “I often talk about weeks and months, but the reality is it will depend on each of us.”
He is asking the public to continue following directions from health officials, like staying home as much as possible and limiting movement.
While Trudeau has yet to share national data projections, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government will share all available provincial coronavirus data projections on Friday.
The data released will show “where Ontario was, where it is, and where it could be.”
“It’s going to be stark,” Ford said, regarding the model.
“The information will be difficult for some to hear,” adding that the situation is “extremely, extremely serious.”