United Way and Region of Peel invest in neighbourhoods

May 3, 2011

MISSISSAUGA — A community kitchen that will now serve as a social hub and teach the importance of nutrition is one of 13 projects receiving a Neighbourhood Development grant funded jointly by United Way and the Region of Peel. The grants, totalling $272,000, will fund resident-led projects across Peel including a community festival, a block party, a neighbourhood council, a seniors’ exercise program and youth leadership activities.

“Neigbourhood Development grants are part of United Way’s Neighbourhood Development strategy which launched in 2007,” explains United Way President and CEO Shelley White. “The grants fund projects that provide opportunities for residents to work with community agencies to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhoods. Research shows that when residents are invested in their communities, neighbourhoods are safer, healthier and more productive.”

The Palgrave Community Kitchen (PCK) in the town of Caledon is receiving $26,500 to develop a community garden and an herb garden, purchase a commercial stove and hire a community engagement worker. PCK aims to be a social hub and learning space that will teach the value of local foods and contribute to the health and nutrition of local residents.

“Everyone needs to eat,” says Barbara Imrie, Chair of the Palgrave Environment Committee. “Food is the perfect ingredient in building community. When the community eats together it grows together. Growing, preparing and eating healthy, nutritious, culturally-appropriate food is vital to prevent many of the issues that affect society. Sharing food preparation, harvesting and planting food allows different ages, cultures and
at-risk members of society to be valued and appreciated.”

In addition to the Palgrave Community Kitchen, the following projects are receiving Neighbourhood Development grants for the first time:

The Malton Film & Digital Media Community Engagement Project is receiving $14,500 to develop and produce a documentary of the Malton Community Building Project. The documentary will capture the essence of this project as seen through the lens of the leadership team and the community. The grant, distributed through the Family Education Centre of Peel, will also support a community engagement seminar series that aims to dispel stereotypes among youth and adults within Malton’s Black and South Asian communities.

The Multicultural Inter-Agency Group of Peel (MIAG) is receiving $26,500 to assist residents of the West Wood apartment building in the Bloor St./Runningbrook/Tomken neighbourhood of Mississauga, in developing a Neighbourhood Council and several committees. The Council and committees will engage and unite the diverse tenant population and create a collective voice to address resident concerns, promote community safety and improve the quality of life for tenants.

The University of Toronto Mississauga is receiving a $27,000 grant to develop a Neighbourhood Environment Survey Tool (NEST) which will assist researchers, community partners and residents in identifying and addressing priority needs and service gaps in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga neighbourhoods. The NEST will build on earlier research UTM graduate students conducted in 14 Peel neighbourhoods to help United Way gain a deeper understanding of neighbourhoods in Peel

The following projects are receiving a renewal of their Neighbourhood Development grant:

Caledon Seniors Group is receiving $10,900, to continue providing seniors in the area with an exercise program, congregate dinning and social activities that help build independence and reduce isolation. Funds distributed through the Social Planning Council, will assist in securing a fitness instructor and expanding social and recreational activities.

The Boys and Girls Club of Peel will receive more than $90,000 in grants for programs that will enhance community life in four Peel neighbourhoods: McHardy Court and Fair Oaks in central Brampton, Acorn Place, the Sheridan apartment complex, and Glenway in Mississauga. Projects are focused on fostering youth leadership and creating opportunities for residents to connect with each other.

Clarkson Community at Peace (CCAP) is receiving a grant of $17,500, administered through Clarkson Secondary School. Located in south Mississauga, CCAP is a diverse group of individuals and organizations working together for a safe and peaceful community. The grant will provide funding for community activities that promote a safe, nurturing and inclusive community.

The Malton Community Festival, established by local residents in 1976, is receiving a grant of $14,200 to be administered through Malton Neighbourhood Services. The festival has become a primary event by which the community identifies itself. The grant will support continued marketing to the diverse community and various activities such as face painting, a free BBQ and the annual youth talent show.

The Village Keepers is receiving $17,500 to maintain a community garden, which acts as a hub for the Brampton neighbourhood of Goreway/Queen to Goreway/Mayfield. The community garden brings together residents of all ages and ethnicities and creates opportunities for social interaction, this year with a particular focus on youth. The grant will be distributed through Midaynta Community Services.

Volunteer MBC is receiving $26,500 for a Mural Project that will engage local students, residents, and seniors in painting murals along their local park trail in the Meadowvale Lake Aquitaine/Wabukayne neighbourhood of Mississauga. The project aims to beautify the neighbourhood, promote volunteerism and restore community pride.

Media Contact:
Wendy Johnson
Senior Communications Consultant