The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Libro is keeping its commitment to make a positive impact with $40,000 in grants given to three community projects this year in Haldimand or Norfolk.
True Experience Supportive Housing and Community Work Program partnered with United Way in its application, as United Way helps fund True Experience programs. The $20,000 received will go toward the Path to Possibilities program at Trillium Manor.
“The ultimate goal of Trillium Manor is to prepare residents for successful independent living,” explained True Experience Executive Director, Sandie Heirwegh. “Everything we do in the Path to Possibilities program has that outcome in mind. Financial literacy, money management, grocery shopping, healthy meal planning and preparation, household management, problem solving, conflict resolution, and medication compliance are all part of the program.”
United Way Executive Director Brittany Burley added, “The program does an incredible job of helping people with mental illness to teach them the skills needed to live on their own.”
Scott Macleod, Regional Manager at Libro, presented the cheque to the group and said they were chosen because Libro was “really impressed with the application and presentation they did.” He noted Libro’s four pillars for creating a positive impact: employment, financial resilience, local food accessibility, and housing.
“The organization and application hit all four pillars,” said Macleod. “It seemed like a natural fit.”
Heirwegh said the funding couldn’t have come at a better time, as the program was at risk of being limited this year: “Replacement of some major components to the house became critical. In order to cover the costs, we had to shuffle funds around. This would have meant reducing the Path to Possibilities program – which of course, was not something we wanted to happen…. We were all delighted when we received the good news!”
The Caledonia Agricultural Society received $10,000 to go toward their kitchen in the Riverside Exhibition Centre. Ian Thompson, Manager of the Caledonia Fair, explained, “This grant, along with funding from other sources, will help us to purchase additional equipment for our commercial and teaching kitchen at the Riverside Exhibition Centre. We hope that this will allow us to provide community cooking classes and a space for organizations to use for food-related fundraising.”
When completed, the kitchen will include two 10-burner gas ranges, a cabinet convection oven, two stock pot burners, a conveyor dishwasher, two deep fryers, a flat-top griddle, ice machine, coffee and hot water equipment, microwave, place settings for 300 people, and a variety of utensils and other supplies.
“The Society is very thankful to have received this support from Libro Credit Union,” added Thompson. “We sincerely thank Libro Credit Union for their ongoing support of our organization. Their staff are truly dedicated to the community and their support of so many worthy causes does not go unnoticed.”
Macleod added, “We are excited to support this as we see a long-term project that can be both a hub for supporting local farmers, and a place to teach community members how to use these fresh, local ingredients to create both traditional and multicultural recipes.”
The final $10,000 being granted by Libro this year will go toward The Gathering Food Centre in Simcoe. The funds will support their Riversyde 83 food skills workshops, which will provide participants with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to cook and eat healthy foods for themselves and their families, helping reduce food insecurity in a dignified and non-stigmatizing way. The program will encourage participation from the whole community, enhancing connectedness and reducing stigma. Food skills training will also enhance employability, especially among youth in the agri-tourism and food industries.