$1 million donation to help community food programs meet growing need in Niagara

Niagara, ON, November 8, 2022 – Driven by soaring rents, and a 11.4% increase in food costs, more people are turning to community food programs in order to make ends meet. For many in Niagara, these programs provide the only accessible source of food for themselves and their families. Faced with an incredible surge in demand, our local food programs are struggling to keep up.

Recognizing the need, local philanthropists and long-time United Way supporters, Greg and Diane Slaight, have come forward to offer critical support for local food programs through United Way. The Slaights have made a special gift of one million dollars to United Way to provide immediate relief for local community food programs.

United Way Niagara’s role in the community uniquely positions the organization to carry out large-scale projects of this nature due to its extensive reach, strong local knowledge, cross-sectoral relationships, and network of agency partners across the region. United Way is working to increase food security in Niagara through convening the Niagara Food Security Network, coordinating affordable, fresh food markets in high needs neighbourhoods, the Niagara Community Garden Network, as well as ongoing investments in more than 40 local food security programs and initiatives. Through these investments, more than 23,000 individuals reported an increase in their overall food security last year.

“We are deeply honoured and grateful to the Slaights for the trust they have placed in United Way to ensure these vital funds make an immediate impact for those in need in Niagara,” Said Frances Hallworth, CEO of United Way Niagara. “The need is growing at an unprecedented rate, we hear every day about the increasing number of people, from children to seniors, seeking support from food programs and the challenges our community partners are facing in addressing the growing need. This gift will be instrumental in helping to ensure that emergency food programs will be able to better meet the increased demand over the next two years.”

With these funds, United Way will support community food programs that are struggling due to increased demand and rising food prices. Any registered charity delivering food security initiatives in Niagara is eligible to apply. The application, now available on United Way’s website at unitedwayniagara.org/apply-for-funding/ will close at 12:00pm on November 28, 2022 and funds will be distributed to successful applicants in early December.