Volunteers at the Sylvan Lake Food Bank sort through donations from a Stuff-A-Bus campaign. File Photo

Volunteers at the Sylvan Lake Food Bank sort through donations from a Stuff-A-Bus campaign. File Photo

Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Community Partners benefit from $10,000 grant

The Town of Sylvan Lake awarded a $10,000 grant to both organizations at the recent Council meeting

The Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Community Partners are the recipients of a one-time grant from the Town of Sylvan Lake to help during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Town Council approved grants for the local charities to the tune of $10,000 each.

Monique Pummings, manager of the recreation, culture and tourism department with the Town, says the funds for the one-time grant has been taken from the Arts and Culture Grant Program and the Community Spirit Grant Program.

Both programs had remaining funds left in the 2020 budget which could be used to help the local charities during the epidemic.

The Town of Sylvan Lake, along with the Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival Committee, identified the Food Bank and Community Partners as the recipients because of the growing demand for these agencies during the current pandemic.

“With unemployment rates rising due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Sylvan Lake Community Partners have seen a rise in usage,” Pummings said.

The Sylvan Lake Food Bank is preparing for a 10 per cent increase in client demands because of current lay offs. Already the food bank is low on key essentials they provide to clients in hampers each week.

Along with the expected increase demand, the Food Bank has also made changes to how hampers are delivered to clients. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, clients are no longer allowed to enter the food bank, this means hampers are delivered to them by volunteers.

“The money would be used for purchasing food, gas gift cards for delivery of the food, as well as bags and containers for food distribution,” Pummings said.

Sylvan Lake Community Partners is operating its Compassion Fund during the epidemic for those in need. The Compassion Fund provides those in need with hygiene products, a gift card to purchase fresh food, as well as items for infants such as formula and diapers.

“Typically, most clients are allocated approximately $200 in product and gift cards. The money would be used for purchasing items and gift cards for the Compassion Fund,” Pummings said, adding funds may also be used for taxi use as many clients are in need of rides and are relying on taxis during the outbreak.

Both organizations will be required to submitted an outcome report six months after the pandemic ends.

In addition, both have applied to received matching funds from the Province of Alberta, which recently announced it will match donations made to charities such as local food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am really happy the Town was able to make a move such as this. These grants will actually help people in Sylvan Lake,” Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said.

Coronavirus