Nearly $1.4 million in support for Townships community groups

By Gordon Lambie

A total of 69 projects led by local community organizations have received $1,383,317 through the government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). According to Compton Stanstead Member of Parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Marie Claude Bibeau, who made the announcement on Thursday morning, most if not all of the supported projects are already underway.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our community organizations have been on the front lines and have suffered the full brunt of the consequences of COVID-19 on their activities and services to the population,” Bibeau said, explaining that the ECSF was announced by the Government of Canada at the end of April to support organizations in adapting their front-line services to meet the needs of vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund is administered in collaboration with United Way Centraide Canada, the Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, whose support in overseeing the funds Bibeau praised as invaluable because of these organizations’ in-depth knowledge of the issues on the ground in each region.
“You ensure that our communities are alive and well-served,” the minister said.
Over the last three months, Centraide Estrie and the Eastern Townships Community Foundation have received and analyzed dozens of projects meeting various needs such as food aid, mental health support and educational success. Each of the administrative partners employed different decision-making processes and criteria in the selection of projects, such that Centraide Estrie gave out $783,167 to 44 different organizations, while the Eastern Townships Community Foundation split $600,150 between 25 charities.
Among the groups that received funding from Centraide are the volunteer centres in Magog, Coaticook, Richmond, the Haut-Saint-François, and du Granit; the Coalition sherbrookoise pour le travail de rue; the Cornerstone Food Bank; the Alzheimer’s Society; and GRIS Estrie, among others, for projects ranging from food programs to phone lines aimed at breaking down social isolation.

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