Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)

B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

There’s no change in B.C.’s $140 million annual budget for thousands of community grants funded by casino and lottery funds, but the priorities for grants have been altered to meet the extra needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

School parent advisory councils were notified of their capital project grant applications at the end of October, and arts, culture, sports, public safety and environment project applicants have to wait until the end of February.

Municipal Affairs Minister Jody Osborne, the former mayor of Tofino, highlighted a few projects Jan. 19 that she said meet the most pressing needs. They include a $250,000 grant to build a new facility for the Cranbrook Food Bank Society, the same amount for a community kitchen in Sechelt operated by the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, and $240,000 to renovate the kitchen for the Potluck Café Society in Vancouver’s downtown east side.

The full list of capital grants to 53 non-profits has not yet been released, but it includes more urban facilities in North Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby.

Gaming grants also fund six different sectors to run programs totalling $135 million a year.

RELATED: B.C. eases rules for small business COVID-19 grants

RELATED: B.C. care home operators renew call for rapid testing


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