THUNDER BAY — The Thunder Bay COVID-19 Community Relief Fund is distributing more of the money it's raised to support local organizations helping to keep people safe during the pandemic.
The third round of funding totals about $55,000.
It includes programs offered by NorWest Community Health Centres, the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay, the Catholic Family Family Development Centre, and Barriers to Employment and Training.
The Barriers to Employment group is a coalition of employment and training organizations.
It will use its $10,400 grant to provide 50 cell phones (data plans) to vulnerable members of the community, to help them access food, medical, counselling, financial and emergency services, and stay in touch with their families.
NorWest Community Health Centres will allocate its $5,000 grant to a COVID response program that delivers essential items to needy clients, including medication, diapers, formula and blankets. Clinic staff also provide health assessments onsite if required.
Michelle Kolobutin, coordinator of harm reduction and managed alcohol for NorWest, said the funding supports its outreach team to contact people in their residences, and often at the street level.
"We are trying to support individuals who are not able to get out or are at increased risk and have to limit their outings," Kolobutin said.
She added "Our visits are very personalized...We truly feel we are helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keeping people safe in their homes."
NorWest expects to provide food and other resources to 260 people, and deliver almost 100 Children's Activity and Snack packages.
Money is also being provided from the Community Relief Fund to extend previously supported projects for the Roots to Harvest Emergency Good Food Box for Seniors, and the Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre's Regional First Nation Emergency Good Food Box.
The Thunder Bay COVID-19 relief fund has raised almost $313,000 from various sources since March 18, and has supported 17 local agencies and organizations to date.
The fund is a collaboration between the United Way of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Community Foundation.
Last weekend, the Stay at Home gala raised over $28,000 for the fund.
Among other donors, Newmont Canada's Musselwhite mine recently contributed $30,000.