Wineries launch meal program to help laid off hospitality workers in the south Okanagan

South Okanagan wineries are getting together to provide a family meals program to assist hospitality workers laid off by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country

Wineries in the Oliver and Osoyoos area are banding together to offer meals to people out of work in the hospitality industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Association, which represents 43 grape growers and winemakers, has launched the HOPE (Helping Our People Eat) Fund with the intention of providing up to 200 family meals per week.

Working in partnership with Oliver Eats Ltd., an Oliver delicatessen, the fund is being supported by the wineries that make up Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, according to a media release.

“We are confident of recovery in our region but we know that it rests on the reassurance that our hospitality workers will still be here, when that happens,” Wine Country executive director Jennifer Busmann says in the release.

The family meals will feed four people and will include such items as chilli con carne, vegan vegetable tomato goulash, and split pea and ham soup.

"From farm hands to dishwashers, cellar hands to servers, these people are the backbone of our region and it wold be shockingly different if they weren’t around,” Derek Uhlemann with Oliver Eats says in the release. "The pandemic is a shared hardship and we wanted to partner with Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country to support our workers with nutritious family meals."

People in the region who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and are in need of a meal should email by 5 p.m. each Thursday. Meals can be collected every Saturday afternoon.

Those interested in making a donation can go here.

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