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How To Apply

The Gay Lea Foundation was created by Gay Lea Foods in 2014 to support registered Canadian charities working toward the relief of poverty, advancement of education and purposes beneficial to the community.

Applications are considered based on merit, under the categories listed below, with preference given to organizations that serve agricultural or rural communities and/or whose mission and values reflect the seven principles of co-operation.

Funding Categories

  • Relief of Poverty

    This category includes programs or projects that address income improvement or enhance the human condition, such as meal provision, food and/or clothing distribution, temporary housing (such as emergency shelters, homeless shelters, and expectant mothers’ and women’s shelters), and permanent housing (such as low-cost units).

  • Advancement of Education

    This funding category includes: programs offering agricultural and/or co-operative development or training; formal education centres, such as colleges, universities and research institutes; after-school programs to improve academic achievement, or increase awareness of bullying, stigma or discrimination; training in co-operation, team-building and conflict resolution; development or promotion of links and partnerships between school, home and community, and; education and training in financial literacy.

  • Purposes Beneficial to the Community

    This funding category includes: Infrastructure projects such as animal shelters, community centres, health care facilities, libraries, museums, public parks and recreation spaces whose mission and values reflect the seven principles of co-operation; Support services for families with kids or adults with disabilities or mental health challenges, (including devices, therapy, mobility, accessibility and medical equipment); Counselling for families, individuals, victims of violence and/or abuse; Community safety programs such as volunteer fire departments or emergency services; Initiatives and events that foster close–knit communities, and/or rural sustainability and development; Programs that foster healthy families, including youth-at-risk, play groups.

Non-Funded Causes

  • The Gay Lea Foundation will not fund:

    • Large national charities located in major centres with substantial corporate support;
    • Requests from organizations supported by Gay Lea Foods through other programs;
    • Religious or sectarian instructions or organizations, except where grant is for non-denominational community and social support services;
    • Political causes;
    • In–kind donations;
    • Sports teams and elite athlete training programs;
    • Legal expenses, and;
    • Insurance costs.

Application Form

The Gay Lea Foundation Board of Directors meets twice a year to consider applications and monitor the progress of the projects it has supported.

Funding applications are due by the 10th day of March and September each year, with responses generally provided within 4 weeks of each application deadline.

Applications may be emailed to

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