Emergency Community Support Fund

From May to November 2020, the Oakville Community Foundation took part in the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC).  Funded by the Government of Canada, grants were distributed in two rounds to support local charitable organizations serving Canadians disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

In the first round of funding in June 2020, the Foundation awarded $502,500 to 18 local charities and 19 projects. Five months later in November 2020, the Foundation awarded $181,500 to nine local charities for the second round of funding.

See the list of successful charities below:

Acclaim Health – $11,000
Acclaim Health’s Reducing Isolation for At-Risk Seniors funded project will safely continue care for vulnerable seniors through activity care packages and connections with volunteers and staff.

Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton – $45,500
Provided from July to September 2020, the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton held 12 weekly virtual interactive performances and activities by professional artists to engage participants in Caribbean and African music traditions. The Association also provided 400 carribean meals for isolated seniors, front-line workers and families in need. 

Central West Specialized Developmental Services – $38,123
Central West Specialized Developmental Services (CWSDS) has helped fill the need for the socialization of individuals with developmental disabilities. CWSDS has further specified their programs to accommodate complex needs of individuals through virtual meetings with family and friends, webinar presentations and activities to reduce social isolation and encourage good mental health. 

CNIB – $5,000
The CNIB, a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today, has expanded its virtual program offerings for Canadians impacted by blindness during the pandemic. 

Community Living Oakville – $56,200
Community Living Oakville’s Stay Connected project will connect people with developmental disabilities through virtual online platforms. Funding was used to support a Stay Connected facilitator.

Easter Seals Ontario – $11,500
Easter Seals Ontario funding was used to provide in-home equipment for Oakville children and youth with physical disabilities who were under served due to the COVID 19 restrictions.

Fare Share Food Bank – $50,000
Fare Share Food Bank was provided with financial support to purchase food for a larger client base. This funding allowed Fare Share to serve their client households and continue supporting people in need in our community. 

Food For Life – $29,925
Food for Life’s Leading the Pack Project provides essential staff support for 3 new positions created due to COVID-19. The positions were needed for daily food bagging as Food For Life continued their pre-pack model to March 2021.

Front Line Outreach  – $15,000
Front Line Outreach assists local organizations in connecting with local communities to help provide poverty relief and community investment. The Food Supply Preparation and Summer Day Camp projects consisted of purchasing, preparing and delivering food and providing a free day camp to families living in low-income, subsidized social housing.

Let’s Talk Science – $824
Let’s Talk Science is committed to preparing youth for future STEM careers. They will continue to work towards this goal by providing learning packs to students as part of the Every Horizon project. Packs include hands-on STEM and literacy activities as well as an age-appropriate book and manipulatives.

Oakville Meals on Wheels – $25,000
Oakville Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to Oakville residents who live independently but are unable to attend to their own nutritional needs. The Rising to the Challenge to Meet the Need project responds to the needs of the increasing number of seniors and those confined to their homes who require a warm and/or frozen meal, as well as wellness checks to ensure their continued health and safety.

Safetynet Children and Youth Charities – $34,000
In response to urgent need in the community, funding awarded to Safetynet was used to support and expand their Furniture Program by hiring an additional full-time employee. This funding allows Safetynet to continue to support the most vulnerable in our community.

Salaheddin Islamic Centre Inc. – $67,600
The DAR Food Bank serves more than 80 families. Due to COVID-19, many at-risk community members were unable to go to stores to purchase essential supply. Funding allowed DAR to support their community in a larger capacity by launching the DAR Family Intake Page that allows families to request delivery or general help.

The Salvation Army Lighthouse Shelter – $34,750
The Salvation Army Lighthouse Shelter provides safe, secure, short-term accommodations to individuals who are experiencing some type of housing crisis. Funding supported additional staffing and client-assisted costs associated with housing and reintegration during the pandemic. The funded project adhered to public health guidelines with the goal of assisting individuals out of congregate settings into individual units as soon as possible.

Shaarei-Beth El Synagogue Congregation of Halton – $21,112 & $2000
Funding for the Supporting Isolated Seniors in Our Community project was used to hand deliver baskets, provide learning materials, kosher foods and other items to help seniors feel engaged and connected.  Additional funding was used to upgrade technological capacity and delivery of online programs as well as assist the Rabbi and Education Director in delivering programs to the congregation.

St. Jude’s Anglican Church – $7,500
Through their project, St. Jude’s used teleconferencing to connect with seniors and comfort those in isolation. This allowed those without computer skills the opportunity to talk to church friends and their caring community.

Starlight Children’s Foundation – $10,000
Starlight created Play From Home packs, an emergency program to help immunocompromised children in strict isolation. The packs contain board games, crafts and other interactive activities for the whole family. 

STRIDE – $37,500
STRIDE’s primary purpose is to serve the employment needs of individuals facing mental health and addiction issues. As a result of COVID-19, STRIDE anticipated a large increase in referrals and used funding to hire an intake specialist to assist with higher demand.

About the Emergency Community Support Fund

The Government of Canada’s $350 million fund, announced in May of 2020, aimed to provide additional and much needed monetary assistance to charitable and nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable populations. The Emergency Community Support Fund was implemented with the help of national networks including CFC, United Way/Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross. Organizations applied through CFC’s portal.

Helping Those Who Need It Most

As the pandemic unfolded, it became increasingly evident that marginalized groups, youth, children, elderly, essential workers and newcomers were more vulnerable to financial and social impacts. The Foundation’s focus has been to engage all parts of our community to ensure that there were no communities facing undue duress from the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. 

In 2020, The Foundation was able to support a diverse range of organizations, many for the first time. The Foundation prioritized programs supporting the physical and mental well-being of Oakville citizens during these trying times. Charities adapted to virtual platforms with the goal of engaging and uniting the community and reducing social isolation.

Many grant recipients placed a focus on continuing to provide support to lower income residents as highlighted by the following examples.  

Front Line Outreach received $15,000 to support their Food Supply Preparation and Summer Day Camp programs. These programs aimed to help address the symptoms of poverty through the delivery of nutritious meals, wellness checks and camp experiences to Oakville residents.

“The vulnerable population who benefited from the grant support were very grateful for the generosity extended, both through the tangible support and relational support.” – Grant recipient, Front Line Outreach

Shaarei-Beth El Synagogue Congregation of Halton and St. Jude’s Anglican Church developed their remote technology capacity to deliver online programs to their faith communities with a focus on reaching out and connecting isolated seniors. These initiatives allowed those without computers or computer skills the chance to connect with others to increase mental health wellness.

“Without a doubt, the technology purchased through this grant allowed those that were most vulnerable to stay connected and involved both spiritually and intellectually.” – Grant recipient, Shaarei-Beth El Synagogue


If you still have questions after reading the above information, please contact our Grants team at grants@theocf.org.

The Emergency Community Support Fund is funded by: