Bear Cove terminal services attendants, Sue Heemels (left) and Nat Hine (right), loading the truck with groceries bound for Bella Bella and Klemtu residents. (Photo submitted)

BC Ferries implements employee’s plan to deliver groceries to central coast

By transfering grocery shopping from Port Hardy store to terminals of Bella Bella and Klemtu, the ferry service reduces the need for travel for residents of remote communities

A catering employee of BC Ferries came up with a solution to help out the remote communities of Bella Bella and Klemtu with their grocery deliveries.

The employee from Prince Rupert suggested that BC Ferries coordinate with the local Save-On-Foods chain in Port Hardy to arrange delivery for customers on the Central Coast.

This eliminates the need for travel and is welcome news for the customers who otherwise usually have to take a ferry to retrieve their groceries. BC Ferries was quick to support this suggestion by its employee since it reinforces policies of physical distancing and cuts out passenger travel altogether.

Tessa Humphries, spokesperson for BC Ferries, said that all efforts and solutions to flatten the curve are welcomed by the ferry service, especially since many of the communities they serve have requested that travel in these times be limited.

Calling the solution a “real innovative one,” Humphries also said that BC Ferries was “really proud” of their employees who “continue to go above and beyond during this pandemic to help the community.”

Referring to the Prince Rupert employee who is the mastermind behind this initiative, she said the solution is proving to be “extremely helpful for communities in the central coast.”

With this improvisation, customers from these remote communities can order their groceries online with Save-On-Foods in Port Hardy. The store then delivers the grocery orders to the Bear Cove terminal using North Island Transportation. The products are then loaded onto the ships and customers can come to collect their orders at the local arrival terminals of Bella Bella and Klemtu.

To make this possible, various companies such as North Island Transport, Save-On-Foods and the operations team at Bear Cove terminal came together to help with the logistics. BC Ferries also lauded the teamwork from these networks and credits the joint efforts to “a bunch of companies working together during a very difficult time to execute an innovative solution.”

With provincial measures tightening, BC Ferries has been discouraging all non-essential travel. This also comes after reports of a spike in ferry travel to the Island over the Easter weekend. While the ferry service has cut down its sailings significantly and reduced the number of passengers onboard to half capacity, it has also incorporated measures such as screenings passengers, and allowing passengers to stay in their vehicles to combat COVID-19.

READ ALSO: ‘Full ferries’ only half-full, BC Ferries clarifies

READ ALSO : BC Ferries to bring in health checks as feds restrict marine travel due to COVID-19

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