Okanagan Spirits has donated close to 6,000 bottles of hand sanitizer as of March 27, 2020, to help fill COVID-induced shortages (Contributed)

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Spirits is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has delivered thousands of hand sanitizer bottles to facilities running in short supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but says it will need help to meet an ever increasing demand.

The Vernon and Kelowna distillery has tasked itself with turning whiskey into its “Flatten the Curve” sanitizer to help fill the high demand in care homes, medical facilities and the homes of residents. As of Friday afternoon, March 27, the Okanagan Spirits have donated and delivered 6,000 to those in need in the region.

But like most other businesses, Okanagan Spirits has been hit by financial pressures due to the novel coronavirus, and as it pays out of pocket for the production cost of the sanitizer, it asks customers to continue purchasing products online.

“Every time you tell a friend about our products or give us a shout out on social media and it translates into a sale, that money helps keep us going,” Okanagan Spirits said Friday.

“This COVID-19 mess is not going away any time soon and we hope to keep making and producing the sanitizer free of charge for as long as needed.”

Okanagan Spirits is offering door-to-door delivery and assisted curbside pickup, and the distillery doors are open for those who are healthy and able to follow social distancing protocol.

READ MORE: Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Donating the alcoholic sanitizer costs the distillery $24.37 per litre, and Okanagan Spirits said the federal government still charges $12.37 excise tax on each litre donated. The distillery is petitioning for the government to waive the tax.

Not included in those totals is the cost of bottles. Okanagan Spirits purchased 4,000 bulk plastic bottles Saturday.

“Please contact us if you have bulk new plastic (preferably spay) bottles available for purchase or donation,” the distillery said.

The distillery is giving first priority to health care workers, care homes and other essential service providers before providing sanitizer to the general public.

Okanagan Spirits’ hand-surface sanitizer follows the World Health Organization’s guidelines and is made of 70 per cent denatured alcohol with added volumes of hydrogen peroxide.

The distillery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Vernon and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Kelowna. Products can be purchased online at www.okanaganspirits.com.

READ MORE: ‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CoronavirusDistillery

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Dementia intensifies loneliness and loss for seniors in pandemic, says caregiver

Seniors care expert says patience and sharing keys to helping those with dementia cope through virus

No injuries in Penticton Indian Band structure fire

The structure, which sustained significant damage, was boarded up and seemingly vacant

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Fundraiser launched for North Okanagan drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Most Read