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Abbotsford Community Foundation awards grants
The Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) has launched its Smart and Caring Community initiative to help children in poverty and has announced its first two grants.
One of the grants, for $10,500, goes to the Blessings in a Backpack program, which provides food for the weekend for kids and their families during the school year.
The program is spearheaded by the Abbotsford Rotary Club, and it costs $525 to support each child through the school year.
“While the foundation is funding 20 children for the year, Rotary and other local donors have already funded more than 116 children, so we know this program is having a positive impact on the lives of children in our community who were coming to school on Monday mornings undernourished,” said Susan McAlevy, ACF executive director.
The other grant – for $5,000 – is going toward the Start2Finish program being piloted by Margaret Stenersen Elementary.
The program, with a total cost of $12,500, will launch in September and, based on its success, might be duplicated in other local schools.
Start2Finish is an after-school program involving training for a 5 km run and having a nutritional snack, followed by a reading program for children who aren’t getting these supports at home.
A key component will be the involvement of volunteers who mentor them either in the running part of the program or the reading section.
ACF’s Smart and Caring Community Fund will provide an additional $68,000 this year in grants to charitable organizations which have projects and programs that support children in poverty.
The initiative was established in response to Gov. Gen. David Johnston’s call for the country’s community foundations to join him in bringing to life a vision for a smarter and more caring nation for the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
Last year, ACF produced its first Vital Signs Report, which identified child poverty as one of the key social issues affecting the community.
"With 40 per cent of those using the Abbotsford Food Bank being children, we knew this was something we wanted to focus on,” McAlevy said.
For more information or to apply, visit abbotsfordcf.org.
For more information on the Abbotsford Community Foundation, contact Susan McAlevy at 604-850-3755.