For the second year in a row, CAA Niagara is providing a boost to community service organizations across the region.
Last year, "The Big Boost," a support program from CAA Niagara saw over $100,000 in donations to 18 charities across the region. Returning this year under the moniker of “The Big Food Boost,” the program has donated over $106,000 to 15 charities and added food drives to its support efforts.
“It's really a great community initiative,” said Marrianne Wilson, vice president of marketing for CAA Niagara. According to Wilson, CAA partners and sponsors alike, such as Boston Pizza and the Book Outlet, joined in the donation efforts by setting up food drop offs and encouraging customers and employees to paricipate.
In total, over 3,000 lbs. of food was collected and donated across the region. “It's nice to see that the whole region of Niagara got behind this initiative,” Wilson said.
Grimsby Benevolent Fund (GBF) Community Services is one of the recipients of a cash donation and a portion of the food donations as well.
Stacy Elia, CEO of GBF said that she was appreciative and proud of CAA Niagara’s decision to donate to GBF.
“It reaffirms the efforts of this team in the day-to-day frontline work that we're doing here,” she said. “Having an organization believe in our work and understanding the importance of the work in these very difficult times, it's very heartwarming.”
Elia said the $6,000 donation from CAA would be focused on GBF’s latest housing initiative, as a lack of affordable housing and an inability to pay rent due to the pandemic is an ongoing issue in the Grimsby community and the reason many have sought out the help of GBF in recent times.
The housing program aims to get individuals and households off GBF’s waiting list and support them with their housing and rent payment needs.
“If you don't have a home, and you don't have a place to lay and rest at night, it affects everything. It affects your health, it affects your children, it affects your job, your marriages and so forth. So housing is a very important part of someone's life,” said Elia.
Those interested in donating or Grimsby residents in need of help can reach out to GBF online at GBFGrimsby.com or contact them via phone at 905-309-5664.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News