Feds support charities, non-profits during pandemic

Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre

John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Ottawa is recognizing the essential role of community groups by providing them with financial support during the COVID-19 crisis, says a local MP.

“Charities and non-profit organizations are on the front lines of this pandemic, acting as lifelines for Canadian families,” said Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre in a release. “They have been working tirelessly to provide critical services to vulnerable Canadians.”

In May, the feds created the Emergency Community Support Fund, a $350-million investment to support charities and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations as they manage the impacts of COVID-19.

The ECSF provides support for community-based organizations that have experienced a drastic increase in demand for their services since the start of the pandemic.

Since its creation in May, more than $1.2 million has been invested in 46 organizations across Northeastern Ontario so they can continue to deliver crucial services and programs that have helped Northerners weather this crisis.

In Sudbury alone, more $663,000 was invested in 29 local organizations. 

The United Way Centraide North East Ontario and Sudbury Community Foundation are designated intermediaries for this help, identifying and distributing ECSF funds to community organizations. 

“Our local United Way and Community Foundation have done a wonderful job of highlighting to us the most urgent needs of our vulnerable populations, and I would like to thank them for all their hard work,” said Lefebvre. 

Mary Lou Hussak, executive director of UWCNEO, said her organization is proud to administer the funds on behalf of the government.

“These critical investments are supporting essential front-line services and helping to keep our community strong by ensuring that people can access supports when they need them most,” she stated.

Alexandra Curry, executive director of the Sudbury Community Foundation, said charities and non-profit organizations are “pillars in this community.”

Since COVID-19 struck, “they have been working tirelessly to support those who need it most, but the reality is they’re struggling with increased demand at the same time as revenues have decreased,” she said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to flow additional emergency funding their way through the ECSF. The need for funding is apparent in the community, and although ECSF has been a tremendous help, we are still working with donors to aid in some of these projects, as well.”

The federal government has contributed: 

• $350 million for the Emergency Community Support Fund;

• $9 million through United Way Canada to help local organizations support seniors with services, including grocery delivery, medications and check-ins;

• $100 million to food banks to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

• $7.5 million for Kids Help Phone to help provide young people with mental-health support during the coronavirus crisis.


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