More people in need will soon benefit from meals prepared in new kitchens and expanded food distribution, as local community organizations receive funding from the Community Gaming Grants program.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for people throughout B.C., and these organizations have been working tirelessly in their communities to ensure people have access to healthy food,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We are here to support British Columbians through this critical time, and this capital project funding will help them reach more people and is another way we can work with our community partners as we get through this together.”
As a part of the 2020-21 capital project grant program, six community organizations are receiving a total of more than $1.13 million to help them deliver food security programs to more people and expand food distribution:
- Potluck Café Society in Vancouver received more than $240,000 to renovate a kitchen in its new Downtown Eastside facility to provide meals to people in the community.
- Cranbrook Food Bank Society in Cranbrook received $250,000 for the construction of a new facility to support food distribution in the region. The building will be shared with two other local not-for-profits – Cranbrook Food Recovery and Farm Kitchen.
- Sunshine Coast Community Services Society in Sechelt received $250,000 for the construction of a commercial community kitchen to address the issue of food insecurity for people who live on the Sunshine Coast.
The Community First Foundation in North Vancouver, Vancouver Italian Cultural Centre Society and Burnaby Neighbourhood House are also receiving grants to support food security and distribution for people.
“This past year has shown us how much British Columbians rely on non-profit organizations for services and supports during tough times,” said Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. “While we work on B.C.’s economic recovery, it is incredibly important we ensure these vital organizations are supported and some of our most vulnerable people are not left behind.”
This funding builds on the Province’s support for food security through COVID-19. In March 2020, the Province provided a $3-million emergency grant from the Community Gaming Grants program to Food Banks British Columbia to help British Columbians in need.
Each year, $5 million in capital project funding from the Community Gaming Grants program is targeted to help not-for-profit organizations build or upgrade community facilities and infrastructure, and update technology and equipment for programs.
This year, 53 not-for-profit organizations are receiving capital project grants through the Community Gaming Grants program. The full list of all capital projects funded this year will be released in the coming days. Since 2017, the capital project sector has helped 285 not-for-profit organizations in 92 communities buy equipment and make renovations essential to their operations.
This capital funding is in addition to funding provided to six different sectors for programming totalling $135 million annually.
Naved Noorani, executive director, Potluck Café Society –
“Potluck is excited and very thankful to be awarded this grant. Our new facility on 298 East Hastings St. will have a purpose-built kitchen, allowing Potluck to increase its production, provide more nutritious meals while increasing the number of community members we employ, and to actively pursue a new goal – to rescue food.”
Deanna Kemperman, co-ordinator, Cranbrook Food Bank Society –
“We are extremely grateful for this construction grant supporting our new facility designed for safe, efficient food recovery, storage and distribution to those who need it. Our clients and community will reap the benefits of two food security-focused organizations sharing one space, instead of the current three.”
Catherine Leach, executive director, Sunshine Coast Community Services Society –
“We are incredibly grateful to receive a Community Gaming Grant. This will be a game changer for people in our community struggling with poverty and food insecurity. These funds will allow us to incorporate a commercial kitchen into our redevelopment project creating a place where people can come together, learn new skills, improve their health and connect over food.”
For more information on how Community Gaming Grants are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/gambling-fundraising/gaming-grants/cggupdates
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan and other government resources and updates: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
A backgrounder follows.