Facilities like the Prince George Friendship Centre are receiving a helping hand from the provincial government to assist with the pandemic.

The one-time relief funding of $7.8 million dollars will assist all 25 friendship centres across BC as it will provide supports for meals and hampers, care packages for seniors and education kits for children.

“Friendship centres have seen a rapid increase in requests for services during the pandemic,” said Leslie Varley, executive director, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. “They are fulfilling the need for culturally safe and appropriate supports during a time where our people are more susceptible to the impacts of COVID-19.

“We are addressing three priorities as a result of COVID-19 – food security, personal protective equipment and sanitation, and equipment and supplies. The allotted funding will help ensure that those who are most vulnerable to the virus have access to food and that our staff have the equipment and supplies they need to provide these services safely.”

The provincial association will distribute the money among all the centres.