The Salt Spring Island Foundation has made four more grants to local charities from its COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund. The fund has reached almost $202,000 and distributed $148,000, including $61,550 in food cards, to support community needs.
The food card program, made possible through the generosity of Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, has benefitted many community members experiencing the economic impact of COVID-19. One local artisan, market vendor and single parent says, “The Saturday Market is my main income for the year. It sustains me to March, right when COVID hit. I had been running on empty and have been hustling to make ends meet. Groceries are the biggest expense. The grocery cards gave me almost a physical relief from stress and worry."
Other major donations to the fund have come from the Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD, in addition to many individual donors.
Recent emergency grants include:
- $12,562 to SSI Community Services to increase the Farmers Market Coupon Program, which makes healthy food accessible to low-income people and boosts the local farming economy.
- $10,500 to the Salt Spring Community Health Society for the Mental Health First Aid Program, which trains community residents to address personal and community–wide mental health concerns.
- $3,500 to the Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary Society to support health and safety measures required for the reopening of the Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop. This grant has been matched by the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation.
- $2,000 to Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre for a flight cage for injured birds. The cage is required because, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Victoria is not accepting birds rescued in the Southern Gulf Islands.
In early June, the Foundation announced the availability of grants to Salt Spring Island charities from the Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) through the Victoria Foundation. The fund aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19.
Donations to the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund may be made at ssifoundation.ca or by mail to: Salt Spring Island Foundation, Box 244, Ganges PO, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2V9. Please indicate on your cheque that the donation is to be directed to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
While the Salt Spring Island Foundation is assisting with needs in the wider community, the Foundation also encourages community members to support the Lady Minto Hospital directly at ladymintofoundation.com/covid-19.
Charities wishing to apply for a grant are requested to visit ssifoundation.ca or contact the Foundation’s Operations Director, Shannon Cowan, at email@example.com.
The Foundation extends a special thank you to the Salt Spring Exchange and the Gulf Islands Driftwood for sharing news of our COVID-19 Emergency Fund.