Buckhorn grocery store owner, other community members recognized as “COVID champions”

Buckhorn Foodland owner Shreek Patel and his staff were recognized for their efforts to support the community during the pandemic as part of My COVID Champion, a month-long campaign led by Peterborough County, City of Peterborough , Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.

Late last month, Peter Raymond, President of the Trent Lakes Outreach Center, presented Patel with a locally sourced gift basket, which named the franchisee to receive the honor.

Launched in November, the My COVID Champion campaign encouraged residents to nominate community members who have gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic. Participants highlighted contributions from community members by naming them via social media, using the hashtag #MyCovidCampion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Patel and his 42 Foodland employees have been recognized for undertaking a number of community-driven initiatives during the pandemic and during the holidays.

When COVID-19 hit, Patel partnered with Community Care Peterborough to launch a grocery delivery program to support registered customers. Elderly residents and people with mobility or health challenges have signed up to receive grocery deliveries under the new program.

“(Customers) either phone us or email us their orders and twice a week we shop for groceries and deliver it right to their homes,” Patel told the reviewer. “This is a new initiative that we launched during the pandemic, but it is something that we will continue to do. There is a need for it.

Buckhorn Foodland owner Shreek Patel takes a break in his store Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Buckhorn, Ontario. Patel and his staff were recently named COVID Champions for their efforts in supporting the community during the pandemic.

Through his nomination, Raymond said he also wished to recognize Patel and Foodland’s continued support for the Trent Lakes Outreach Center Food Bank and the Municipality of Trent Lakes annual Christmas Hamper Fund.

Each year, Patel and store employees work with the center to collect donations for the baskets – decorated by students at Buckhorn Public School – which include food and toys.

This year, baskets were distributed to about 20 area families at the Buckhorn Community Center, according to Raymond.

Patel said he was overwhelmed after receiving the honor.

“These are things we do on a daily basis without thinking about recognition. It’s just part of our normal routine. But for someone to recognize it and say ‘Hey, you are doing a good job,’ that’s good to hear, ”he said, adding that the store’s initiatives could not happen without the concerted efforts of its dedicated employees.

Raymond, who named Patel as soon as he learned of the campaign’s launch, said the “humble” store owner has remained “very community-minded throughout the pandemic.”

“He made a big difference in the region. The delivery program was very well received by everyone. (Patel) is always there for everyone in the community, ”Raymond said.

At the end of last month, Peterborough County Director J. Murray Jones joined Peterborough City Mayor Diane Therrien, Curve Lake First Nation Chief Emily Whetung and Hiawatha First Nation Chief Laurie Carr to unveil community members recognized as COVID champions.

The nominees and nominees entered a raffle to receive gift baskets valued at over $ 250.

For the City of Peterborough, staff from the One Roof Community Center, which provides a meal program and other services at St. John’s Anglican Church on Brock Street for marginalized people in the community, were selected.

“They are frontline heroes,” Therrien said.

Kathleen Bowles, nominated by Lorne Paudash, has been selected for the Hiawatha First Nation. Bowles volunteered at a community checkpoint – to help limit the spread of the virus – and participated in a community safety patrol.

Dee-Anne Taylor of Curve Lake was named by her sister Mary McCue, who gave her continued support during the pandemic – from dropping off supplies to sharing memes to cheer her up.

“The little things make a big difference these days,” Whetung said.

About fifty candidacies were submitted as part of the campaign.

Brendan Burke is a reporter for The Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Contact him at [email protected]