People who are vulnerable and have low incomes will be supported with $250,000 in provincial government funding for local poverty-reduction projects on the Lower Mainland.
Projects proposed by Delta, Langley Township, Richmond and Whistler received grants:
- Delta’s Building Back Fairer project ($50,000) will improve access to food and affordable transportation for racialized and urban Indigenous residents.
- A new food program at the Aldergrove Community Station House supported by $50,000 will repurpose blemished farm produce into soups and preserves and volunteers will mentor those interested in learning about canning and other food skills.
- Richmond will use its $50,000 grant to develop community resource monthly drop-in session to better connect people in need, including newcomers to the services and supports that are available to them.
- Whistler is partnering with Squamish, Pemberton and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District on research to better assess food insecurity in the region and identify solutions. This project is backed by a grant of nearly $100,000.
“Poverty has many faces around our province,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “It’s good to know that local governments are committed to improving the lives of individuals who are struggling to stay above the poverty line. I commend their good work.”
These projects are from the third intake of the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ (UBCM) Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, which supports local government projects or plans to reduce poverty at the local level. The intent of the funding is for local governments to develop initiatives that are aligned with TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty-reduction strategy.
“Local governments are best suited to identify chronic and emerging issues in their own communities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These grants will support action at the local level. Municipalities will work with community partners to develop strategies that can break the cycle of poverty, strengthening communities and improving the lives of all British Columbians.”
All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty-reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.
“These projects build upon local government relationships and will aid participants in identifying the unique needs of vulnerable and low-income people in each community,” said Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, UBCM president. “This collaborative approach will assist in building ownership locally along with strategies that address the grassroots challenges in each place.”
Around the province, 18 projects spanning 24 local governments will receive a total of more than $1 million from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority action areas, which include families, children and youth, education, housing, employment, income supports, and social supports.
- In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
- In 2020 and 2021, 75 local governments received more than $1.9 million for 44 poverty-reduction plans and projects.
- The program includes two streams of funding:
- as much as $25,000 to develop or update poverty-reduction assessments or plans; and
- as much as $50,000 to undertake local poverty-reduction projects.
- Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
- For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.
TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants: