Food network and heat bank seek more federal funding
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | January 4, 2018
The Central Food Network and Heat Bank Haliburton County hope to get at least $15,000 in additional federal funding to keep residents warm this winter and offer transportation to those at risk of homelessness.
They would use $10,000 in the next four months to distribute 25, $400 heating and hydro grants to people in need, according to a report by coordinator Tina Jackson.
Another $3,000 would be spent to give housing-insecure clients gas vouchers or cab fare for necessary appointments. And they want to buy a $2,300 gas-powered log splitter to split donated firewood. By partnering with Highlands East, they received $132,000 over three years from the Homelessness Partnership Strategy (HPS). It runs out March 2019. It was about $34,000 less than they were seeking, but last year they received another $18,000 from the same source.
On Dec. 6, Jackson asked for council’s support once again. “We learned in the final hour this year, there is additional money through HPS,” she said. We ask “that you support us in pursuing the opportunity to secure that additional funding."
Coun. Joan Barton asked for the exact amount council would be supporting. Jackson said they didn’t have one.
“We know there is $256,000 that’s available this fiscal year and up to $800,000 next fiscal [year]. But it’s a bidding process through which all the other funded agencies in Ontario have an opportunity to apply,” she said.
Since the municipality is submitting the application, CAO Shannon Hunter said its responsible for the program and allocation of funds.
Council unanimously approved the request. The Central Food Network runs the food banks in Wilberforce and Cardiff. In 2016, it adopted Heat Bank, a community initiative that provides emergency heat and firewood to residents.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.