WINNIPEG — As stores across the country struggle to keep toilet paper and other hygiene products in stock due to a buying frenzy spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, some vulnerable citizens are paying the price in more ways than one.
Winnipeg’s Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA) group says its noticed inner-city store shelves are often empty of toilet paper, and some stores that do have it are charging exorbitant prices for it.
ICYA’s executive director Kent Dueck said the situation is getting desperate for some residents in the city’s less-advantaged communities.
“I spoke with a mom in our community who told me that she asked her kids to cut up their old shirts, because they couldn’t find toilet paper anywhere,” he said in a news release. “Community members have told us that some corner stores are price gouging.”
“Many in our community cannot afford 6 rolls for $12.”
To address the issue, ICYA is seeking partners to help them distribute toilet paper to families in the North End.
ICYA plans to sell the toilet paper at cost to those in need.
“It’s a toilet paper co-operative. It’s about helping people while also empowering them beyond just a handout,” said Dueck.
“If you’ve hoarded toilet paper, now is your time to give it back to your Winnipeg community.”
Beyond donations from regular households, ICYA is also seeking any toilet paper distributors to sell it to them at cost.
“Manitoba is the most generous province,” said Dueck. “We’re appealing to anyone who can help during these unprecedented times. We’ve got limited stock now, but it won’t last long.”
The toilet paper will be distributed at cost from a take-out window at ICYA’s Aberdeen and Salter Ave. location.
Orders can be made at their Facebook page and social distancing rules will apply at pick-up.
ICYA asks that only households in need, or those unable to find transportation to big box stores, come to them.
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