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City readies COVID-19 aid for local non-profits

City council will vote on nearly $170,000 package recommended for four local groups Monday.
Shelter House is one of four local non-profits recommended to receive support through a city emergency fund. (File photo)

THUNDER BAY - The City of Thunder Bay will look to buttress local emergency food and shelter efforts with funding for local non-profits responding to the COVID-19 crisis. City council will vote on a $170,000 aid package Monday night.

A report from the city's senior administration recommends dividing that money between four groups, with the bulk going to the Shelter House and the Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA).

The money will be drawn from a $235,000 emergency fund established by city council in March to support local non-profits through the pandemic. Only organizations already funded through the city’s Community, Youth & Cultural Funding Program, which provides millions in annual support to local non-profits, are eligible for the funding.

Nine of those groups applied for support through the emergency fund, with four recommended for a total of $168,300 in funding. That includes $113,900 for the Shelter House, $40,100 for the RFDA, $11,100 for Roots to Harvest, and $3,200 for the Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre to administer the Good Food Box Program.

The city asked organizations to submit information on their anticipated needs for emergency funding related to the pandemic up to June 30. Food security and shelter were the main needs identified in those submissions, the city said.

Recommendations were made based on the urgency and level of organization's need, increased expenses and reduced revenues faced by the organization due to COVID-19, availability of other funding sources, and existing level of funding received through the Community, Youth & Cultural fund.

Some of the funds could be clawed back if the non-profits receive funding from higher levels of government to cover the same needs, the city stipulated.

Just over $65,000 remains in the city's emergency fund for non-profits. The city is waiting to see how organizations' needs evolve before distributing that money.