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Charlottetown small business owners reaching out to help Islanders in need

Charlottetown business owners Aurora and Kevin MacLean, who operate the Stir It Up vegan kitchen at the Founders’ Food Hall & Market, are reaching out and asking Islanders to get in touch with them if they know of someone who could use a good, healthy meal. - Rachel Peters/Special to The Guardian.
Charlottetown business owners Aurora and Kevin MacLean, who operate the Stir It Up vegan kitchen at the Founders’ Food Hall & Market, are reaching out and asking Islanders to get in touch with them if they know of someone who could use a good, healthy meal. - Rachel Peters/Special to The Guardian

 


A Fort Augustus business couple is more worried about the well-being of Islanders than their bottom line right now.

Like so many others across the Island, Kevin and Aurora MacLean decided to shut things down at Stir It Up, one of the businesses operating out of the Founders’ Food Hall and Market in Charlottetown, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic.

The market itself is closed now.

However, Aurora said the first thing that came to mind wasn’t what it was going to mean for their bank account.

“Our immediate thought was more towards food loss. It was more, what can we do in the immediate days ahead to salvage food waste as well as thinking how we can find people in the community who need us,’’ Aurora MacLean said Thursday. “I don’t think we’re any different from any other small business out there right now who’s trying to do everything they can to support the community.’’

So, the couple reached out to the community, posting a note on the Stir It Up Facebook page. They're asking people to let them know of anyone who needs a meal but can’t afford it right now or simply can’t get out to get food.

“We felt that we had some food that we could donate and that we were in the unique position as a small food business to have a sanitized kitchen, to have time on our hands, to have the ability to make that type of reach out.’’


Stir It Up vegan kitchen is offering to make meals for people in need. Here’s how to reach them:


The first day after posting the note, a few people contacted the couple about friends or family who might need a hand so Kevin and Aurora have already done some drop-offs.

People have also reached out, offering to donate money to help pay for meals. Kevin and Aurora haven’t done anything with the money but are trying to figure out how to use the money and set up a space to help feed people in need.

“Now our question is, we just want to know where the people who need us are. How do you go about finding those people? It’s hard because of the fear and panic. There has to be people out there, people who don’t have family support.’’

Stir It Up, which launched in 2017 as a catering business, offers things like veggie burgers, salads and organic products, everything from soups to sandwiches and wraps.

Kevin said, like just about everyone else, they’re trying to stay afloat in these uncertain times, as well as help their staff and the community.

“I think people are still going to need good food,’’ he said, “and, I think we can do that safely.’’


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