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Frontline service providers receive $106K in funding

Seven community frontline service providers helping the most vulnerable members of the population benefited from $106,000 in funding through the COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
Dew Drop Inn
The Dew Drop Inn is one of seven frontline service providers benefiting from more than $100,000 in funding from the United Way of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Community Foundation to assist vulnerable members of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File).

THUNDER BAY - Frontline service providers that assist some of the most vulnerable members of the community are receiving a helping hand from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

The United Way of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Community Foundation are donating $106,306 to seven local frontline service providers.

“The last two weeks have been overwhelming for the entire community,” said Albert Brulé, Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Thunder Bay.

“We all know someone out of a job, working the frontlines, or in need. In the midst of all of this, we must continue to remember the local organizations and agencies who are a lifeline to thousands of people in Thunder Bay. These vital service providers are doing what they can despite the shortages and are taking a risk to help those who are struggling.”

The money will be divided up between the seven organizations, including $16,800 for the Roots to Harvest Emergency Good Food Box for Seniors for 100 low-income senior households per week.

The Dew Drop Inn at St. Andrew Soup Kitchen is receiving $19,600 to provide food access to the city’s most vulnerable citizens on a daily basis.

Shelter House Thunder Bay will receive $14,286 for it’s COVID-19 pandemic response to provide food and shelter for those in need.

The Regional Food Distribution Association is receiving $40,000 for its Emergency Food Bank Hamper Distribution.

Our Kids Count will benefit from $2,000 for the distribution of food hampers, counselling and home visits, and Big Brothers Big Sisters support by phone.

And the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Shelter will receive $13,620 for the delivery of 1,152 food boxes to three Regional First Nation communities in the next two months.

“For us it is essential we continue to feed the hungry in Thunder Bay. With so many lives depending on us I shudder to think what would happen if we no longer could offer our services,” said Michael Quibell, Executive Director of the Dew Drop Inn.

“The Dew Drop Inn is currently assembling 400 Take Home Lunches a day and this funding will allow us to continue to feed the hungry in Thunder Bay and add as much nutrition as possible to these meals. A huge thank you to our amazing staff, our awesome volunteers and the incredible support from our big-hearted community. We simply could not do what we do without you.”

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund was announced earlier this month and shortly after it was created it benefited from more than $100,000 in donations.

This is the first round of funding and additional funding will be announced this week as the joint committee continues to evaluate applications.

“The Thunder Bay COVID-19 Community Response Fund is supporting organizations helping those who are impacted the hardest, and it’s happening quickly,” said Alexandra Calderon, Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation.

“The demand for these emergency funds is escalating daily as the situation in our city develops. We are grateful for the donations that have come in to date, which made this possible. Frontline organizations and agencies continue to need our help. Please donate to the Thunder Bay COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund so we can support more initiatives like these.”

Funding applications are available through the Thunder Bay Community Foundation’s online grant platform. Donations to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund can be made online at the United Way of Thunder Bay or the Thunder Bay Community Foundation.

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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