Members of the Richmond Coming Together Facebook group are serving as volunteer food bank drivers, delivering supplies to those in need.
Photo courtesy Vicky Ryan
Richmond residents working in tandem
By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter
Published 12:48 PDT, Thu April 16, 2020
Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021
In this time of uncertainty, volunteers are working together to support vulnerable Richmond residents.
The COVID-19 Richmond Coming Together Facebook group is just one example of community generosity.
Created by Richmondite Karina Reid, the group is supporting the Richmond Food Bank as well as providing a community hub for people with extra supplies to share—and for those in need of help.
“The first thing I thought about was food banks,” says Reid.
She learned that many Richmond Food Bank delivery drivers were elderly and had stepped back from their roles to avoid increased risk of catching COVID-19.
So Reid offered the help of members of her Facebook group, building a small administrative team to help co-ordinate deliveries and clients. There are 31 confirmed drivers, and most are doing weekly deliveries to food bank clients through a matched client-volunteer system.
Through connection with other volunteer groups—including Mamas For Mamas, the Richmond Food Bank and the Richmond Poverty Response Committee—the Richmond Coming Together group aims to help as many people as possible.
In addition to already established food bank deliveries, Reid’s Facebook group organizes other drop-offs and community connections. People who have surplus supplies—like toilet paper—can make a post offering to drop off to those in need.
If the group’s administrative team sees a post from someone saying they need particular supplies, they reach out to see how they can help.
The community hub is also providing assistance to single mothers. This support includes drop-offs of food baskets, children’s clothes and other necessary supplies.
“Those are needs that can be met, and we can help fulfill those needs together,” says Reid. “I have never been more proud to be a Richmond resident than now.”