Grants awarded so far.
Grant One | Balila Taste Kitchen
A family run restaurant in Vancouver whose revenue stream has been severely impacted by the slow of sales due to COVID-19.
Even though Balila is struggling amidst the pandemic, they started a Buy a Meal Donate a Meal program whereby for every three meals purchased, they donate one to health care heroes in their community. When asked about the program they said “Times are tough but a community that continues to help each other always survives.”
The awarded grant will go primarily towards employee wages. Balila expressed that their employees’ job security comes first. The remaining amount will help towards their store rent, and any ongoing PPE requirements as needed.
Thanks Balila for how you’re continuing to give back to your community, even though you are struggling yourself. We hope this grant helps make a difference.
Grant Two | MaqOBA
Maq0BA believes everyone, regardless of race, gender, or social class should have access to mental health Initiatives and treatment.
They offer pro-bono therapy sessions, warm meals, and gift bags – made possible by proceeds from sales of eco friendly products at magoba.com. The pandemic caused their sales to drop, which impacted the social impact they could have.
Even with their decrease in sales, they’re managing to help others in additional ways, providing free groceries to those most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic!
The grant will help keep their core mission afloat, and to raise awareness that even during Covid, people with mental health still need help, if not now more than ever!
Grant Three | Alpine Roots Farm
Sponsored by: Jeff Kruck – IG Wealth Management
From Farmer to Table.
No Chemicals. No Pesticides.
Based in the Okanagan, Alpine Roots Farm was born out of a desire to get closer to the land, live happily, healthily and sustainably.
They sell microgreens, edible flowers and some other specialty crops direct to restaurants, but lost all customers instantly when restaurants and bars closed.
They will use the grant funds to help adapt their business and broaden their offerings, as they’re concerned the demand for niche garnishes and edible flowers may not be as high for chefs in struggling restaurants. They expressed the grant money would also help with considerable seed expenses they racked up over the last couple months and “go a long way in helping me get my business back on track.”
Grant Four | Chickpeace Zero Waste Refillery
Refill. Reuse. Repurpose.
Chickpeace is all about helping local and global communities to reduce packing waste through conscious consumerism. They offer bulk food and lifestyle products + a commercial kitchen for rent in the back of the refillery
Their refinery was set to open May, in Kelowna, but due to Covid the opening date was delayed. As a zero waste bulk refill store, the pandemic has drastically changed their business model.
The back of their store was intended to be a community kitchen, but with so many events cancelled – the space was not booked with chefs, caterers and food producers as they had hoped.
They will use the grant funds to help their local and global community learn about their business, and the ways they are trying to reduce single use plastics and remove barriers towards living a zero waste lifestyle.
Grant Five | HomeStart Foundation
Furnishing homes to help families in need rebuild their lives.
HomeStart Foundation is a Vancouver furniture bank that accesses the available supply of surplus furniture, and furnishes homes for people in need. In an average month they furnish 40 homes! They had to suspend operations in March in order to protect their crew, donors and the vulnerable population they serve.
The grant will help with their reopening, and cover the costs of extra cleaning and PPE that will be necessary.
They want to reassure donors and clients that they’re operating safely, but it’s an extra cost they hadn’t budgeted on. They stated the funds will be essential to their successful reopening and “make an enormous difference for us.”
Grant Six | Sitti Social Enterprise
Bringing fair wage employment to refugee women through handmade natural olive oil soap empowering them to gain financial independence for themselves and also for their families. Each bar of soap that they produce is a testament to the self-determination of the women who make up the Sitti Soap team.
When events were cancelled across Canada they were very affected as many customers purchase their beautiful soap for wedding favours.
Since the pandemic they have been working hard to help on the ground to support refugees both with securing partnerships to ensure they continue not just to keep everyone employed but thinking of ways to maximize their impact on the ground. Today with World Refugee Day they see that 1% of the global world population have been forcibly displaced or are refugees. Advocating for the marginalized those that lost everything they have seems so much more essential than ever.
Grant Seven | Busy Beans Play Cafe
Sponsored by: Summerland Credit Union
Busy Beans Play Cafe is over 3300sq feet of kids indoor play space in Penticton where parents/guardians, grandparents or anyone else that loves kids, can come relax and spend quality time together to play, connect, learn and meet others doing the same.
They have been shut down completely, with 100% loss of revenue due to Covid-19, since March. The grant would help to reopen, and complete all the safety implements they need to run their businesses in a safe manner.
When notified of the grant they said
“Words cannot cover how truly greatful we are … you have no idea how much this helps!”
Grant Eight | Aikidaily International Academy
A traditional Japanese martial art club in Squamish, BC, that strives to make members healthy; both physically and mentally.
Their small club serves more than 100 families in the community and employees four people. The pandemic has forced them to close their doors and redefine how they teach their students, and put a lot of financial strain on their business.
Now with permanent changes being required of businesses if they desire to reopen, they need to add new equipment to their facility in order to meet the health authorities guidelines.
The awarded grant will go towards meeting this need and helping cover the necessary PPE measures to safely reopen their club that impacts their community in so many ways.
Photo Credits: Thuy Tran Photography
Grant Nine | The Paisley Notebook
Since 2017, they’ve been hosting pop up dinners across the Okanagan to shine a light on farmers and tell their stories.
Their ever-changing moveable feasts are on held in stunning locations including farms, mountaintops and wineries. Every pop-up dinner has a surprise menu inspired by what’s in season and celebrates local. Creator, Aman, believes “For people to value something, they need to experience it first-hand.” Together, they’ve built trust in where our food comes from, how it’s grown, raised or sprayed.
The grant will help to off-set a few of the operating costs with smaller more distantly spaced outdoor dinners to keep everyone extra safe.
[The Paisley Notebook] feels it’s more important than ever to show people where their food comes from, and how you are what you eat and you are what you buy. Every decision, when supporting local, has an impact.
Photo Credits: Nicole Hemeon
Grant Ten | Mandala Mamas
Mandala Mamas is a safe, accepting and loving environment where mamas can connect with their body, their baby and a supportive community of women. They offer Prenatal Yoga, Baby + Me Yoga and Community Mama Yoga. Their classes provide the opportunity the opportunity for authentic conversation and connection amongst mamas.
When Covid-19 hit, all the yoga studios were closed, and their ability to connect and support these mamas in person was taken away.
Mandala Mamas will use the grant to implement new ways to keep the mamas and babes safe while practicing yoga. Investing in removable and washable bolster covers (locally made), hand sanitizer bottles and ingredients, mat and prop spray bottles, extra blankets and blocks to accommodate washing and sanitizing.
Owner, Megan McMichael, said this of the grant “Thank you SO much for this wonderful opportunity! I am beyond grateful.”
Grant Eleven | MacPherson’s Natural Bee Apiary
“We love bees, farming, and making people feel great.”
MacPherson’s Natural Bee Apiary provides honey, maple syrup, and wax products. In 2019 they began supplying local stores, and were experiencing good growth.
Then, due to COVID-19, their business was closed for nearly 3 months. Markets where they normally sell products were not able to open. But this amazing business managed to bring positivity, even as they were struggling, and launched a “Bee the Change” campaign, selling shirts and hats to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. After seeing just how big of an impact this was having, they started another project: a basket of local goods used as a raffle to raise funds for their local homeless shelter.“In the first 4-5 days, we are thrilled to say we’ve already raised $450 for the shelter.”
Grant Twelve | Vancouver Food Runners
Sponsored by: Headwater Projects
Vancouver Food Runners’ mission is to respond to the unfortunate disconnect between the fact that 40% of all food produced is wasted or lost, while 1 in 9 households in BC are food insecure.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Vancouver Food Runners has played an instrumental role in redirecting healthy, fresh food from businesses away from the landfill to their network of +30 charity partners working with the most vulnerable members of their community.
Since mid-March, their +300 volunteer food drivers have collected and distributed 153,757 pounds of food (that’s 128,130 meals!) to the most vulnerable residents, particularly children and single-parent led families.
Grant Thirteen | Jenke’s Theory
Jenke’s Theory was born out of pain healing and recovery.
Founder Ayo Adeyeri turned to natural self-care and wellness routines to heal and recover from the devastating life halting experience of losing her daughter at birth. Now she supports others facing the same devastation using proceeds to supply wellness boxes to bereaved moms in Alberta.
This Canada-based black-owned brand focuses on using natural and essential oils butters and plant-based ingredients to formulate wellness and self-care products. All products are cruelty-free and made with organic certified ingredients.
When COVID struck this beautiful business almost died before it hardly had started.
Jenke’s Theory will use the grant to purchase equipment that will ease the production of their
Grant Fourteen | 30 Minute Hit Vaudreuil-Dorion
“We believe that the women in our neighbourhood deserve a safe and non-intimidating environment where they are able to improve their physical and mental health. We are a community of strong women who empower each other.
Whether their goal is to lose weight, feel stronger mentally, or emotionally, our Hit family (members and trainers) helps them every step of the way. We’ve always been proud of our involvement in the community; just last year, we teamed up with 6 other Hits and fundraised over $53,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society to fund breast cancer research.”
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, businesses in the fitness industry are very at risk. For over three months, they had to close their doors. Even though they were not certain their doors would ever open again, their wonderful team volunteered and
Grant Fifteen | Nyoka Design Labs
Sponsored by: Lightning Rock Winery
Nyoka Design Labs is a small social enterprise with the big vision of disrupting the wasteful plastic industry.
They create sustainable alternatives to single-use, toxic, wasteful products – and at the same time foster safer spaces for youth and less represented communities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to come together and innovate solutions.
Nyoka created with world’s first bio luminescent, Earth-friendly glow stick by using materials that actively capture carbon and mitigate climate change in alignment with the UN sustainable development goals.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their product launch was delayed and their primary target audience, and impact, practically disappeared:
Grant Sixteen | Paramount Fine Foods Don Mills
A small family Lebanese restaurant located in Toronto, with a big heart to give back even as they are struggling.
Being in Toronto, as one of the most affected areas in Ontario, they got shut often since March 2020 reducing business by a steady average of 70% since.
Amidst it all, they started a Dare to Care initiative: #DareToCare – Help those who need it the most this time of year.
“With every $50, Paramount will donate a meal to someone in need. If you donate an extra $5, we’ll ensure a local family has a nutritious meal this holiday”
Just this week, they donated 250 meals to families in need via, Seeds of Hope in Toronto.
Grant Seventeen | Pony Pals
Sponsored by: Nelvana
Pony Pals Therapeutic Riding Association is a program developed for children and adults aged 3 years and older who are faced with life challenges.
They were forced to suspend all services for two full months due to the pandemic. During that time they had to lay off all staff and focus all funds on buying hay and caring for the 23 horses on their therapeutic riding team for people with disabilities.
“We can turn off the furnace, reduce a lot of costs but the horses require a consistent diet, and both veterinary and hoof care on a set schedule without interruption, or the consequences can be dire.”
Thanks to the support of everyone who bought a bag or helped spread the word about the
cause. It’s because of you we are able to help these small businesses in need.
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