A local food insecurity initiative will receive municipal support.
On Tuesday evening council supported a motion that will see Food to Share — an organization which uses local produce to prepare and distribute meals to local food banks — receive in-kind funding of up to $1,925 for the use of the Crystal Palace and up to 15 hours of kitchen rental time at the Prince Edward Community Centre for the organization’s fundraising dinner on Sept. 20.
The motion comes after Food to Share founder Glen Wallis told councillors in late July that the organization missed the deadline to apply for community grants and had no funds to offset the rental costs for the upcoming fundraiser.
A staff report presented to councillors Tuesday night says the organization received an in-kind municipal grant in 2017 to host their fundraising dinner but failed to submit a community grant application for 2018.
The report says Food to Share’s specific request was to waive the rental fee for the Crystal Palace for Sept. 19, 20, and 21 to allow organizers to set up and clean up. The rate for that rental would typically cost $1,400 plus HST. The organization also requested the use of the community centre kitchen for up to 15 hours to prepare food for the event and those rental fees would be $525 plus HST.
The in-kind grant will be funded from the 2018 community grants budget as an unbudgeted expenditure. However, the report says the community grants budget for this year includes an unallocated amount of $5,963 which could cover the expense.
The report says there are many local organizations that request the use of County facilities and other in-kind support for various causes and cautions that granting the money at this point could set a precedent.
“Granting such requests outside the parameters of the County’s community grant programs can set a precedent that encourages groups to petition council directly for funding,” the report says. “These sorts of requests are, and should be, directed to the appropriate stream of the community grants program to ensure fit with the County strategic priorities and compliance with application requirements and accountability measures that council has adopted within those programs.”
Food to Share will acknowledge the municipality as a sponsor for its fundraiser and the organization has agreed to fulfill any reporting requirements expected of municipal grant recipients.
The report also acknowledges Food to Share’s last fundraiser, which raised $10,000, brought significant benefit to the community and supporting access to food for residents is identified in the County’s strategic plan.
In July Wallis also asked for a report on the possibility of waiving the rental costs for the Picton and Wellington community centre kitchens for groups like Food to Share who are fighting food insecurity. That report is expected to come forward at a later date.