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 $339,500 in OTF Capital Grants for Three Non-Profits

December 20th, 2023

Three organizations receive OTF funding totaling $339,500

Thunder Bay, ON – Three local groups received the welcome news that they had been successful with their request for a Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). On Wednesday, MPP Kevin Holland met with representatives from each organization at the Regional Food Distribution Association’s site to formally congratulate them and heard more about their plans for the funds, that when combined, total $339,500.

The recipients are: Beendigen ($120,200 over one year); the Regional Food Distribution Association for Northwestern Ontario ($150,000); and the Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association ($69,300 over six months). OTF’s mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships.

“I am pleased to see our government’s investments in these three organizations”, said Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay–Atikokan. “The RFDA is combating hunger in our communities. Beendigen Inc is instrumental in helping Indigenous women escape violence in their lives, and the Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association that will continue to teach gymnasts new skills safely. These investments reflect our commitment to addressing diverse needs and building a stronger, more resilient society for all.”

Capital grants improve access to programs and technology in community spaces, making it easier for Ontarians to participate in community programs. Since 2018, nearly $682 million has been invested in more than 5,900 projects, creating more than 7,300 full time jobs and generating nearly $981 million in economic benefits for communities across Ontario.

The Beendigen will be using its $120,200 grant to replace the 15 to 20-year-old windows at the Anishinaabe Women’s Crisis Home, which will help to improve the building’s air circulation, increasing safety and operational cost savings as well.

“The OTF grant has allowed us to install windows that enable residents in our crisis home to feel more comfortable, safe, and secure in times of high stress,” said Jessica Argueta, Program Manager, Beendigen. “The ability to open the windows and feel the fresh air really has had a positive impact on the families in the house. Thank you to OTF for allowing us to complete this much-needed project at our shelter.”

The host for Friday’s event, the Regional Food Distribution Association of Northwestern Ontario, will be using its $150,000 grant over the next year to build a meat processing room that will help to increase the distribution of nutritious high-protein foods to people experiencing food insecurity in the area. Funds will be used to help with the construction, as well as purchasing stainless steel worktables, shelving, sinks and more.

“Our processing room will allow us to accept more meat to distribute to our member food banks and communities,” said Volker Kromm, Executive Director, Regional Food Distribution Association of Northwestern Ontario. “Not only is increasing our throughput important, but it also provides us with more opportunities for training and education around safe meat cutting and processing. We are very grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for being a catalyst in this project.”

Members of the Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association will flip when they learn that the group’s $69,300 Capital grant will enable the group to replace aging equipment and install new equipment that will allow for young gymnasts to continue learning and practicing gymnastics for years to come. Funds will help the Association buy new balance beams, an adjustable bar and add a soft vault training system, drill/spotting blocks, a foam handspring trainer, and more landing mats.

“The members of the Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association are both thrilled and grateful to have received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Marguerite Gagnon, Executive Director, Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association. “We will use the grant funds to update some equipment, and to add some new equipment that is more adaptable to all sizes of participants. This will allow all of our gymnasts to learn new skills in a safe and progressive manner.”