On Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021, Kingston Community Credit Union (KCCU) was announced as one of the recipients of the 2021 Empowering Your Community grant from Concentra Bank. They were awarded a $5,000 grant to benefit Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation (SFCSC).
Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation is a local organization that provides a wide and varied range of health, social and cultural support programs, and services to improve the quality of life for residents of South Frontenac. They have been a part of the community for over 30 years.
“Our purpose is simple,” said Laura Fitzgerald, Fund Development & Communications Coordinator for SFCSC. “We help people. Working locally from the historic Grace Centre in Sydenham, Ont., we offer vital health and wellness services to residents throughout South Frontenac and rural Kingston (north of Hwy. 401).”
Through the SFCSC services, many seniors are able to maintain their independence and stay in their home longer, Fitzgerald shared. Some of the services available through SFCSC include Meals on Wheels deliveries to seniors and people with physical challenges, transportation to medical appointments, a Community Food Bank for anyone needing help, and friendly wellness check-in calls to isolated seniors. “The kind of services that help people stay connected and live healthier lives,” she said.
KCCU believes in supporting the local community and said they applied for Concentra’s Empowering Your Community Grant in support of SFCSC outlining their partnership and the benefits they offer to our community. The $5,000 awarded from Concentra, along with an additional $2,000 from KCCU will support the SFCSC greenhouse and gardens.
Since 2011, Concentra Bank, the wholesale bank and trust company for Canada’s credit unions, has contributed $1.8 Million to 120 communities in Canada through their credit union partners, according to a release from KCCU dated Wednesday, May 5, 2021. In 2021, their Empowering Your Community Program granted a total of $100,000 in support of community initiatives related to the environment, community, First Nations, and innovation.
“Now more than ever, support for communities is important,” said Don Coulter, President and CEO of Concentra Bank. “Our purpose is to enable success and teaming up with credit unions to empower communities is a great way to do that.”
The funds will be used to purchase garden tools and implements that will enable better food cultivation and processes. Fitzgerald said the purchase of tools for the greenhouse and garden will ensure that the growing of produce becomes more effective and efficient. “Having the right tools for our volunteers and students will improve their experiences working the garden,” she shared.
Fitzgerald explained how the produce benefits the rural community in three main ways. “The first is fresh produce is added to each of the (approximate) 75 food hampers distributed by the SFCSC Food Bank to individuals and families in need in our rural community on a monthly basis. The second is produce is added to the SFCSC Hot Meals on Wheels program, which is currently delivering more than 175 nourishing hot meals to seniors each week. The third community benefit is for the Loughborough Public School students, who take part in weekly working visits to the garden (as permitted by Public Health during the pandemic). Students are learning how to plan, manage and reap the benefits of a food garden, and are able to set up market gardens for selling of excess produce to the public.”
Overall, the produce benefits more than 200 individuals, including seniors and children, who are benefitting from the Food bank, approximately 75 seniors each week receiving hot meals, and the 20 to 25 students from the Public School, according to SFCSC.
“The garden, like the SFCSC Food Bank is 100 per cent supported by the community and community donations. There is no government funding to support either initiative,” said David Townsend, Executive Director of Southern Frontenac Community Services. “This tremendously generous support from KCCU and Concentra Bank is invaluable to us. It is hard to find the words to express how thankful we are. The resulting benefits of this award will literally last for years and have a meaningful impact on people throughout our rural community.”
For over 60 years, KCCU has made an impact on the local community through charitable giving, volunteerism, and financial education. As part of the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People,’ KCCU said they are committed to building, strengthening, and enhancing the lives of those in our community. Learn more about KCCU on their website.
“I am so proud of the work our staff continue to do to support our community,” said Jon Dessau, CEO of KCCU. “SFCSC is a very deserving recipient, and we are so pleased to help them with this initiative.”