South Sask. Community Foundation aids local charities

Nathan Liewicki
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Hunger in Moose Jaw kitchen helpers Brooke Boulanger, left, and Erin Gramlich prepare oranges for lunches as part of the Child Nutrition Program on Friday. Hunger in Moose Jaw received $16,679 in grant money from the Moffat Family Fund in 2013, which was used toward its Child Nutrition Program.

Moffat Family Fund grant money up for grabs annually

Moffat Family Fund (MFF) grants are distributed annually across 12 Canadian communities, including Moose Jaw.

Each of the 12 cities was selected because they are where Moffat Communications – now Shaw Communications Inc. – owned communication outlets.

The MFF grant money is earmarked for groups that provide programs for children and family support.

Six non-profit agencies in the Friendly City shared $37,669 in MFF grant money in 2013, including Hunger in Moose Jaw, which received the most at $16,769.

Carol Acton, executive director of Hunger in Moose Jaw, told the Times-Herald it has always been important for the organization to provide nutritious lunches for kids.

“They just make such a difference for diets, particularly in vulnerable populations,” said Acton.

That is why last year’s MFF grant money went toward supporting Hunger in Moose Jaw’s Child Nutrition Program. The program, which delivers approximately 300 lunches to children in 15 local schools on a daily basis, aims to include a beverage with each of its lunches.

The primary beverage is milk.

“Milk is kind of an amazing thing,” said Acton. “It controls weight, controls muscle mass and there are 19 nutrients in milk that are essential to health.”

Joe’s Place ($7,600), the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council ($5,000), the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery ($3,500), the Moxie Club Summer Camp ($3,000) and Early Years Enrichment ($1,800) were also recipients of MFF grant money in 2013.

This year’s MFF grant money has yet to be awarded, but Acton is optimistic that Hunger in Moose Jaw will receive more funds to help continually boost the Child Nutrition Program.

“We appreciate all the Moffat Fund has done for us and what they do for many agencies in Moose Jaw,” said Acton. “If we have the fortune of being a recipient of the grant this year that would be absolutely fabulous.”

But who manages the MFF?

The Winnipeg Foundation administers the MFF; however, it’s the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation (SSCF) that managers the fund.

It looks after the geographic region from Davidson south to the U.S. border and from the provincial borders with Alberta and Manitoba.

One of 191members of the Community Foundations of Canada, the SSWF manages over $35 million in assets entrusted to the organization by donors and 80 fund-holders from across the province.

The Moose Jaw Literacy Network, Moose Jaw Youth String Orchestra and Festival of Words are a few of the local fund-holders

“Our mission is to advance community well-being by supporting and assisting charities, companies and individuals to achieve their charitable goals and dreams,” said Susanne Hamilton, executive director of the SSCF.

Those dreams are generated by an endowment fund, which provides lasting support for local community needs and priorities.

In 2013, the SSCF dispersed over $1.4 million in grants to more than 165 charitable organizations and agencies. That number has held steady for the past two years, but depending on market conditions can fluctuate.

Hamilton told the Times-Herald that the SSCF can disperse a minimum of 3.5 per cent of what is in its total fund, but explained that many donors allot more than the minimum.

“We have donors that set up their own funds at the foundation, and they determine where they want to do their charitable granting based off the income off those endowment funds,” said Hamilton. We invest the funds for them and then a portion of the income generated every year is granted back to the community.

“(Donors) look at long-term sustainable giving to charities that they feel are important to them.”

And anyone can open up a fund with the SSCF, or make a charitable donation to the Smart and Caring Fund (SCF), which is open to charitable organizations to apply for funding from.

The SCF is one of two areas Hamilton said the SSCF wants to focus on growing.

“The more funding opportunities we can offer and the larger our grants that we can disperse every year, the more we can meet needs and accomplish that initiative,” said Hamilton.

Another focus of the SSCF is an initiative called Vital Signs.

A cross-Canada endeavour, Vital Signs is a report on community wellness. This year’s focus is on Regina, but Hamilton acknowledged that they are “looking at growing that report every year, or every two years, to include other communities in southern Saskatchewan that we serve.”

Hamilton hopes that will expand to other communities under the SSCF umbrella, including the Friendly City.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Moffat Fund, South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, Times-Herald Moffat Communications Shaw Communications Inc. Moose Jaw Multicultural Council Moose Jaw Museum Moxie Club Winnipeg Foundation Community Foundations Smart and Caring Fund Moose Jaw Literacy Network Vital Signs Cross-Canada

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Friendly, Sask. U.S. Alberta Manitoba Canada Regina Southern Saskatchewan

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