Since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the KFL&A region, Lionhearts has been providing meals and personal items to community members in need through their COVID-19 Street Project. With provincial COVID-19 restrictions easing, many agencies that support Kingstonians in need are restarting their operations, and Lionhearts will be discontinuing their Street Project and resuming their food recovery program.
“It has been a privilege to feed and care for thousands of Kingstonians over the last year and a half during a time where they may not have had anywhere else to turn,” said Travis Blackmore, Executive Director of Lionhearts Inc. “We’re encouraged by the progress made in re-opening the important community services that we all rely on and want to focus our efforts in helping those agencies during this critical moment.”
Since launching the Lionhearts COVID-19 Street Project, the project – with the support of an army of volunteers and a legion of generous donors – has provided 333,114 meal kits throughout locations in Kingston, Amherstview, and Napanee, Lionhearts said in a release dated Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
The COVID-19 Street Project will cease operating on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, as Lionhearts turns their focus on three key initiatives: firstly, ramping up the Lionhearts food recovery program whereby unsellable, but still edible, food is transported from local grocery stores and restaurants to community agencies for redistribution; secondly, preparing for the opening of the Kingston food warehouse as announced by the City of Kingston in the spring; and thirdly, resuming The Embassy Live Music Café programming, according to the release.
The Embassy is a pop-up music venue that fosters an inclusive environment centered on an intimate stage connecting attendees with live performers each week. Tickets are given out by local community support agencies to their clientele, offering them a safe, climate-controlled space with refreshments where they can enjoy the best of local live music, according to the release. The Embassy has been on hiatus since spring of last year due to COVID-19.
“Re-opening a venue like The Embassy is an important step in helping our arts community recover, as it provides paying work for our local musicians,” said Liam Thomas, Manager of The Embassy.
No set timeframe has been established for The Embassy’s re-opening – however, Lionhearts said the team is working with a goal of resuming performances this fall.
Fundraising work continues to offset the costs of the Street Project. Interested donors may visit lionhearts.ca/covid-19-street-project/.
Kingstonist has reached out to Lionhearts to confirm this change in services has been communicated to those who frequently access their Street Project and will update this article as more information becomes available.