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News Releases

BMO and Medavie are founding investors of the United Way Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, December 3 – United Way Halifax announced the creation of a brand-new fund that will help expand and renovate neighbourhood kitchens, where healthy food is used as a tool for building community, improving wellbeing and reducing poverty.
The announcement, held during a community lunch at the St. Paul’s Family Resource Institute on Giv-ing Tuesday, revealed investments of $300,000 each from BMO and Medavie to create the United Way Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund.

“For many of us, kitchens are the heart of a home – places of connection, learning and health. With the right resources, kitchens can be the heart of a local neighbourhood, too,” says United Way Halifax CEO Sara Napier.  “We care deeply about building inclusive communities – we will continue to do all we can to improve the wellbeing of people living in neighbourhoods that are facing higher rates of poverty and isolation.”

The Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund will allow local agencies to renovate, expand or modernize their kitch-ens, so they can better meet the needs of the community they serve. Those who benefit from the fund-ing may purchase new appliances and equipment, update or expand gathering spaces, and pay for es-sential items and supplies.

“This fund will strengthen local neighbourhoods by making it easier for people to gather and grow to-gether,” says Justin Scully, regional president of business banking for BMO, Atlantic region. “At BMO our purpose is to boldly grow the good in business and in life— and that’s exactly what we hope the in-augural investment of $300,000 into the creation of this fund will do.”

The fund will create new opportunities for people living in poverty to build relationships and support net-works, enjoy the benefits of good food, explore new skills and possibilities, and share heartwarming experiences.

Already a supporter of food-based community solutions in improving health outcomes, Medavie is ex-cited to join BMO as a founding investor in the fund. “As a not-for-profit health solutions partner, Medavie is committed to improving the wellbeing of Canadi-ans,” adds Bernard Lord, CEO of Medavie. “Through investments in programs and innovative solutions, we help people live well and enable easier access to quality health care in our communities. This fund will improve access to healthy food, while helping people become more engaged in their community. We’re proud to support an initiative that takes a sustainable, long-term approach to helping people live their best lives, mentally and physically.”

The fund is a targeted response to the key areas of need identified in Building Poverty Solutions, a community report that Napier and Mayor Mike Savage co-chaired and brought to HRM Council for adoption in 2018.
“Poverty, food insecurity and inclusion are important local issues that demand our urgent, broad and compassionate attention,” says Mayor Savage. “We need community leaders like United Way and cor-porate leaders like BMO and Medavie coming together, and showing how the private and charitable sector can join forces to meet the needs of our community.”

Kristen Hollery, executive director of St. Paul’s Family Resource Institute, knows how important their kitchen is to many people living in the community of Spryfield, and plans to apply for funding to replace their agency’s aging stove. “We have 50-60 community members come to our Soup’s On program eve-ry week, and really see the benefit of people coming together. For some people, it may be their reason to get up on a Tuesday morning. If the stove gives out on us, it’s a big loss for them and a large expense for a small organization.”  

United Way Halifax will be doing a call for proposals in 2020 and initial investments will begin later that year.

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Contact
Sarah White
782-234-2504
ABOUT UNITED WAY HALIFAX
United Way Halifax is a donor-funded, community building organization and a local leader in poverty solutions. They create opportunities throughout the year to bring people together, make local issues #UNIGNORABLE, and remove barriers for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and isolation. They help donors, volunteers, partners and advocates unleash their local love by connecting their desire to make a difference with real impact and meaningful action. Their vision is for Halifax to be a city unit-ed by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty. In 2018, United Way Halifax published Building Poverty Solutions, a report that drives the organization’s work. The report can be found by clicking here.
 
ABOUT GIVING TUESDAY
GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday. Across Canada and around the world, Giving-Tuesday unites communities by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

...Aquakultre, Kim Harris, Wolf Castle, Leanne Hoffman, and Hua Li 化力 take part in memorable evening of stories and song at the Spatz Theatre

Celebrating the official kickoff to their 2019 festival, Halifax Pop Explosion partners with United Way Halifax, Forward Music Group, and Atlantic Lottery to present Songs of the City on Wednesday, October 23 at the Spatz Theatre.
 
Bringing together local musicians and storytellers to demonstrate resilience, strength, and the power of community, the memorable evening of stories and song features performances from Aquakultre, Kim Harris, Wolf Castle, Leanne Hoffman, and Hua Li 化力.
 
Songs of the City pairs five storytellers who have been impacted by the work of United Way Halifax with these talented songwriters who will perform an original song based on their authentic, inspiring, and life changing stories.
 
"We’re proud to work with Halifax Pop Explosion to shine a light on stories that might otherwise not be heard," says Laura Whitman, spokesperson for Songs of the City. "This is a great opportunity to highlight #UNIGNORABLE issues facing our community, while showcasing the incredible talents local artists have to offer."
 
Access to Songs of the City is included in the HPX 2019 wristband, and individual tickets are on sale now and available by clicking HERE.
PASS IT ON
 
Earlier this year, Halifax Pop Explosion also partnered with United Way Halifax and Killam REIT to introduce Pass It On, a new program designed to bring music into the lives of those who may need it most.
 
Pass It On provides festival wristbands to community members on a low or fixed income, offering them the opportunity to experience four days of amazing live music in Halifax this October.
 
Ahead of the 2019 Halifax Pop Explosion, patrons can purchase a regular festival wristband through the Pass It On program for $120. This price includes a regular festival wristband for themselves and an investment of 50% towards the cost of another wristband. The remaining 50% is then matched by Killam REIT, and the wristband is distributed to a community member by United Way Halifax.
 
For more information on the Pass It On program, visit: www.halifaxpopexplosion.com/pass-it-on
 
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ABOUT HALIFAX POP EXPLOSION
Since 1992, Halifax Pop Explosion Festival and Conference has been bringing tomorrow’s headliners to Halifax, and helping music fans discover their next favourite bands. Starting as a small, multi-venue festival showcasing local talent and bringing new sounds to the city, the Festival has grown into a 4 day city-wide music takeover that attracts some of the most exciting talent, ecstatic fans, and industry professionals from around the world. Taking place in multiple venues around Halifax, HPX is one of the largest and most exciting music festivals and conferences on the East Coast. Year after year, the festival leaves a lasting impression on the city — challenging the landscape of the local music scene and putting Halifax on the international industry map.
ABOUT UNITED WAY HALIFAX
United Way Halifax is a donor-funded, community building organization and your local leader in poverty solutions. They create opportunities throughout the year to bring people together, make local issues #UNIGNORABLE, and remove barriers for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and isolation. They help donors, volunteers, partners and advocates unleash their local love by connecting their desire to make a difference with real impact and meaningful action. Their vision is for Halifax to be a city united by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty.
 
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To learn more about Halifax Pop Explosion, visit:
www.halifaxpopexplosion.com
 
MEDIA CONTACT
Sarah White, Communications Specialist
(O) 902-461-3076 (C) 782-234-2504

(HALIFAX, NS) July 11, 2019 – A growth in short-term rentals in Halifax combined with a low vacancy rate is concerning affordable housing advocates at United Way Halifax. They are worried that if the growth of short-term rentals in Halifax continues, it will impact the affordable housing stock that is available in our city. 

Kevin Hooper, manager of partnerships and community development for United Way Halifax, says short-term rentals have a ripple effect. “When someone owns multiple properties and is renting them out short-term rather than on the traditional market, it’s taking away what could be an affordable home for someone,” says Hooper. “The vacancy rate is already lower than we’ve ever seen, and there is considerable competition for fewer available units. We feel it’s important to raise attention to affordable housing crunch being felt in our city.”

Many of Halifax’s short-term rental locations are also in areas where people access employment, schools, childcare and other services. Their proximity to transit, shops and restaurants is likely a selling point for tourists, but it makes it harder for residents. “Potential renters are forced to look elsewhere for housing,” says Hooper. “Sometimes that means going outside the neighbourhood, away from the services and amenities they need on a daily basis.”

While United Way Halifax finds the situation troubling, they also acknowledge that many short-term rental hosts may need to supplement their income by renting out space in their primary residence. The organization is more concerned with hosts who own multiple properties and the affect on residents who just want an adequate and affordable place to live.

About United Way Halifax
United Way Halifax is an impact organization and passionate community-builder. They create opportunities to bring people together and make local issues #UNIGNORABLE. Through funding programs, collaborating with others and advocating for change, they remove barriers for those experiencing poverty and homelessness and make our community more inclusive. They help donors, volunteers, partners and advocates unleash their local love by connecting their desire to make a difference with real impact and meaningful action.

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Media Contact:
Sarah White
Communications Specialist

902-461-3076
782-234-2504

United Way Halifax is investing $1.3M to fund 33 community organizations and 34 programs in 2019-2020 (April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020).

pdfUnited Way Halifax Funded Agencies 2019-2020

Media Inquiries:

Sarah White
Marketing & Communications Officer

902-461-3076
902-476-4383

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Holiday Hours

Our office will be closed at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, 2018 and will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 3, 2019.

Donate: Make a donation online and receive an automatic receipt via email.

Looking for help: 211 is a free, confidential information and referral service to more than 3,000 community and social services across Nova Scotia. It is available 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. Dial 2-1-1 to speak to a staff member or visit ns.211.ca.

Questions: If you have any questions during our holiday closure, please email or leave a voicemail at (902) 422-1501. Voicemails will be responded to within one business day and emails will be responded to when the office re-opens on January 3.

Thank you and we wish everyone a very happy holiday season and all the best for 2019!

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