The Winnipeg Police Service says they are seeing more people face hunger and isolation issues in Winnipeg, but are hoping to help.
The WPS recently received a call regarding a senior in their 80s. When they arrived, officers began to speak more with the senior and learned they were experiencing great difficulties.
They discovered the senior was in dire straights with no money for food and was completely isolated.
Concerned for the senior, the officers immediately gave the senior an emergency food box filled with grocery staples, one of 40 donated by Rapid Relief Team CA in November.
Next, the officers and the staff on the shift pooled money together and purchased several hundreds of dollars worth of grocery gift cards for the senior. After delivering the gifts, WPS members then connected the senior with Bear Clan to receive weekly food hampers and the Age and Opportunity Support Services for Older Adults Program. Approximately 700 people use Bear Clan's food bank each week.
"We applaud the actions taken by WPS to support a vulnerable senior in need and connect them to ongoing community supports. This is a perfect example of how policing works collaboratively with community agencies to care for the most vulnerable in our city,” Diane Redsky, CEO of Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, an Indigenous-led family resource centre, says.
The WPS says they have recently seen how food scarcity and isolation are impacting their community.
"Food security in Canada has become a bigger concern. Winnipeggers are facing increased isolation. These struggles and their impact are encountered more frequently by our members responding to calls for assistance," the WPS says in a statement.
The WPS says they will continue to partner with community organizations to assure vulnerable populations facing food shortages and other isolation difficulties can receive help.