Vernon’s Sparkling Hill Resort is helping out on two fronts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The resort closed its doors to guests on March 21 following government restrictions on seated guests in restaurants, forcing layoffs for more than 250 employees.
Without guests and with fewer on-site staff members, the resort found itself with an abundance of perishable food as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), and decided to send those resources where they’re most needed.
“We ended up having about $5,500 worth of food that we were not able to keep, so we felt that should go to good use,” said operations manager Conagher Jones.
On March 26 staff members loaded up three pickup trucks full of eggs, dairy and produce for donation to the Vernon Salvation Army Food Bank.
“At this time I know there are lots of people struggling with losing their employment and really struggling to make ends meet, so they might be relying on the food bank where they might otherwise not have to,” Jones said.
Before temporarily closing, the resort had also stocked up on gloves, high-end masks and other PPE to protect staff and guests and follow sanitation guidelines.
On Friday the resort’s spa manager dropped off a few boxes of those items at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
“They were just sitting here not being used so we thought we might as well put those to good use as well.”
Jones said the layoffs to staff has been a tough pill to swallow, but he’s glad the freed up goods and materials can now serve an important purpose.
“I know this has put enormous strain on our employees, our guests and everybody, really, so this was a nice small way for us to give some of those items to the people who need them most.”