A line of customers stands on markers outside the James Bay Thrity Food’s location to help stop the spread of COVID-19. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

While grocery stores adopt to the growing concerns surrounding COVID-19 by reducing hours, hiring more employees and even installing Plexiglas shields at cashiers, members of the immunocompromised community say they are being left out of the planning, especially when it comes to shopping online.

A quick glance at local grocery store websites shows a similar message across the board — ‘We are experiencing extremely high web traffic and demand for online shopping’ — along with asking those who can shop in-store to continue to do so.

Lisa Thompson says she wants to see stores do more to help those who really can’t leave their homes.

Thompson has been trying to order groceries online as she is immunocompromised and just recently got out of the hospital. She was using home support workers several times a day but has since had to ask them to stop coming, leaving her with few options to get food.

READ ALSO: Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

She’s tried a number of local stores and says some won’t even take her order, or if her order goes through there’s no guarantee when the food will be delivered.

“Honestly, I think it’s just been completely overlooked,” she says.

For Christine Knox, who is also immunocompromised, the concern about being able to get groceries during the pandemic started about eight weeks ago as she was monitoring the situation in Wuhan, China, while volunteering for Emergency Management B.C.

READ ALSO: John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

“I saw the writing on the wall and said OK, we need to get prepared,” says Knox, who began buying things in bulk before the mass of shoppers started lining up for toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

She says that while she’s got enough supports — for now — to have family members or friends drop off groceries, she and her husband are planning for the long haul.

“What we’re doing right now to ensure our food source is going to be OK is we’re building a greenhouse,” she says, adding that she wants to be prepared for up to 18 months in quarantine.

Both Thompson and Knox acknowledge the grocery store staff and their hard work, but still want to see more done to help those who really can’t leave their homes to be able to buy food.

“I don’t know how you control that and improve when people are already working their hardest and doing what they can,” says Knox.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni RCMP look for witnesses of daytime assault

A woman was assaulted while jogging in North Port

Racist incident shocks Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP looking for information

Federal government says no to relaxing log export rules

News comes after Steelworkers, Mosaic ask for ‘temporary relief’ on log export policy

Port Alberni residents gather to protest racism

Peaceful Drive By Protest planned for Thursday

San Group opens new sawmill in B.C.

It’s the first mill in 15 years to be built on west coast

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read