P.E.I. Minister of Social Development and Housing Matthew MacKay has broken down how $5 million in financial relief will be provided to Islanders impacted by post-tropical storm Fiona.
Much of the money will be distributed to non-profit organizations and spent on boosts to social programs, with social housing recipients and seniors getting top-ups.
"We know that there are many Islanders who are struggling right now — many of whom were struggling before the hurricane," MacKay said at an EMO briefing on Wednesday.
The minister said the following one-time financial assistance will be offered to eligible Islanders:
$150 for each social program recipient and dependent (Social Assistance and Assured Income).
$150 for each household registered with the Seniors Independence Initiative.
$150 for each social housing household (including mobile rental voucher and rental supplement recipients).
$100 by means of a one-time grocery card to any household with Islander(s) over the age of 65.
Any senior who previously received an approved one-time senior grocery voucher will automatically receive a $100 grocery voucher through the same delivery method that was previously requested, MacKay said at the briefing.
Any household containing one or more person over the age of 65 can apply through www.princeedwardisland.ca/seniorfoodsupport or by calling 211 who will assist to make applications.
MacKay urged patience for anyone calling 211 due to the high volume of calls.
He said Islanders who are already registered for social assistance, assured income, and social housing will automatically receive payments as early as next week. Any household in receipt of Seniors Independence Initiative benefits will be contacted by Social Programs staff to arrange the best delivery method.
Funding for organizations
MacKay said funding will also be provided to support community organizations that help people:
$200,000 for the Adventure Group to offer continued and extra services at the Community Outreach Centre and administer funding to other community support organizations.
$500,000 to over a dozen community organizations to support the basic needs of their clients, administered through the United Way of P.E.I. and the Department of Social Development and Housing.
$500,000 to food banks across the Island, include those at post-secondary institutions like UPEI and Holland College.
$240,000 to residential non-governmental organizations who provide support to Islanders with disabilities.
Organizations may choose to use the money to offer peer support, fuel cards, grocery cards or other options that support the basic needs of their clients, a provincial news release said.
For people needing more immediate aid, the province is updating a list of reception centres across Prince Edward Island, including details of whether each offers things like food, showers, or cellphone charging.