The Kenora District Services Board is fighting to reduce child poverty across the region, through awarding their child poverty reduction reinvestment funding to a number of community-led initiatives in the area.

Funding provided through the program assists over 1,000 children in northwestern Ontario - roughly 20 per cent of children meeting assistance eligibility. A total of $130,145 in funding has been provided for 2019, that will be split between 10 programs.

“The District of Kenora has the 2nd highest child poverty tate of all of Ontario, and the 7th highest percentage of low-income families with children of all the Federal Election Districts. One aspect of poverty that can be detrimental to overall health and well-being of youth and children is not having enough food to eat or having limited access to nutritious food,” says Sarah Stevenson, Director of Integrated Social Services at the KDSB.

Funding has been provided to:

- Northwestern Health Unit Nutrition on Weekends Program - $40,645
- Nutrition on Weekends, Rotary Club Kenora - $21,500
- Making Connections for Children and Youth, Dryden - $25,000
- Ignace Nursery School Parent Cooperative - $2,100
- Mary Berglund Community Health Centre Hun - $3,150
- Kenora Triple Play - $18,000
- Beaver Brae PASS Program - $4,000
- Minto Parent and Child Resource Centre - $6,000
- Red Lake KARE Kids Are Recreationally Equal - $7,000
- Ear Falls Child and Family Supports Enhancement Program - $2,750

“The objective of the NWHU NOW program is to increase food availability and nutrition on weekends for children in need. This funding will allow for program expansion to reach more children in the Kenora District, in partnership with local organizations and schools.” says Julie Slack, Acting Manager of Chronic Disease Prevention at the Northwestern Health Unit.

“Thank you to the Child Poverty Reduction Reinvestment Funding, the NOW Kenora program will be able to increase food availability and nutrition to more Kenora children during the coming 2019-2020 school year,” says Lloyd Mack, Co-Chair of the Rotary Club Kenora’s Health and Hunger Committee, who added that they are looking to expand to more schools.

"Our goal is to give every child the opportunity to take part in activities that assist in developing body, mind and self-esteem, the MCCY committee would like to thank the KDSB for supporting this initiative.” says Helen Clark, Chair of Dryden’s Making Connections for Children and Youth.

The KDSB added that in 2019, they received requests for funding that totalled roughly double the available funding amount.