Over $182,000 has been given to an array of North Bay charities thanks to some federal and community help.

The North Bay and Area Community Foundation (NBACF) is part of a national network of foundations that aim to serve the charities within the given community. Kate Merritt-Dupelle, Executive Director of the NBACF says that the foundation has been working since the beginning of the pandemic to donate money to local charities.

“The biggest key for us was funding applications that fulfilled the fund’s requirements: social inclusion and well-being needs created by COVID to organizations that are serving vulnerable populations in our community,” she said. 

In the spring, the federal government pledged over $350 million to the United Way and Red Cross which then divided the funds to local charity foundations around the country. $156,750 of the NBACF’s grants came from the federal government, which have been handed out to various organizations around North Bay.

Merritt-Dupelle adds that the NBCAF wanted to make sure the long-standing North Bay charities were taken care of.

“It was also important that they were really rooted in our community and have a history of good work here so we can see the effects of what they’re doing firsthand,” she explained. “I think a lot of times the community doesn’t realize how much we rely on the charitable sector. You can really tell by looking at our list of grant recipients.”

The following organizations have received a portion of the federal grant money:

  • North Bay and District Multicultural Centre
  • Frontier College
  • North Bay Symphony Society
  • PADDLE
  • YMCA
  • Algonquin Nursing Home
  • North Bay and District Humane Society
  • Victim Services of Nipissing District
  • Capitol Centre
  • Township of Bonfield
  • Crisis Centre
  • White Water Gallery/Art Fix
  • North Bay Food Bank

In addition to the $156,750 of federal grant money, the NBACF also raised over $26,000 in partnership with the Rotary Club of North Bay. Those funds have been donated to:

  • Gathering Place
  • North Bay Food Bank
  • Mattawa Food Bank
  • West Nipissing Food Bank
  • Mattawa Women’s Resource Centre
  • Callander and District Food Bank
  • Salvation Army
  • Near North Palliative Care Network
  • Nipissing Serenity Hospice

In total, the NBACF has redirected $182,956 to North Bay charities since the beginning of the pandemic. Merritt-Dupelle says that the foundation’s focus has now shifted to keeping charities open for the future.

“There are a lot of charities that just opened as part of Stage 3 reopening but have lost nearly an entire year of donations and revenue. So, a lot of these charities are just barely keeping their heads above water…when charities take that big of a loss, it’s a big issue moving forward,” Merritt-Dupelle said, adding that charity foundations across the country are pushing for federal money to be spent for that purpose. 

“It would be great to see some other relief dollars,” she concluded.