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Keeping Transportation Services Rolling

Financial support from the Gay Lea Foundation is helping the Community Care Health & Care Network in the City of Kawartha Lakes continue to provide a much-needed transportation service to local residents with mobility challenges.

The Foundation recently announced an $8,000 grant to support Community Care’s purchase of a new retrofitted Specialized Transportation van. The organization’s Specialized Transportation service is used by those with mobility challenges to travel to health care appointments or other meetings or commitments. The service is essential for many residents in rural or remote communities who require affordable and accessible transportation.

Community Care’s nine Specialized Transportation vans are equipped to accommodate wheelchairs and stretchers to safely provide non-emergency transfer services for people requiring such assistance. The fleet of vans covers more than 675,000 km and offers 12,000 rides each year. The majority of rides are to and from medical appointments or hospital discharges. Most clients are older adults. Keeping the fleet of vehicles reliable in order to meet the demands on the service requires replacing aging vans on a regular basis. The support from the Gay Lea Foundation will contribute to the continued reliability of Specialized Transportation vehicles, so that approximately 3,000 clients annually can rely upon Community Care’s transportation services to access health care, remain socially connected and enhance their well being.

Gay Lea Foundation directors had the opportunity to see the Specialized Transportation program in action on July 29, accompanying Community Care staff on a ride to see first-hand how the vans are equipped to provide security and safety for clients. Program staff were also present to share their perspectives about the value of the service.

Brad Sinclair, Chair of the Community Care Foundation’s Board of Directors notes “Community Care vans are vital in supporting continuity of care as they meet the transportation needs of clients whether they are coming home from hospital, going to health care appointments or staying connected to friends and neighbours at community events. The availability of transportation enhances health and quality of life. The meaningful support from the Gay Lea Foundation is greatly appreciated.”

“Our Foundation was created as a vehicle for Gay Lea Foods, its employees and its members to come together in support of projects we feel are making a real difference for families and communities,” says Gay Lea Foundation Chair, Rachel Caldara. “Community Care’s Specialized Transportation service plays an incredibly important role in this community, enabling people with mobility challenges to move about and participate in society. It’s an honour for us to be able to provide our support.”

Gay Lea Foundation directors visited Community Care’s Specialized Transportation Services in Lindsay, Ontario on July 29, 2019. From left to right: Specialized Transportation driver, Harold Desrocher; Community Care CEO, Barb Mildon; Gay Lea Foods President & CEO, Michael Barrett; Gay Lea Foundation Director, Brigitte Baumann; Gay Lea Foundation Director, Robin Redstone; Community Care Foundation Chair, Brad Sinclair; Gay Lea Foundation Director, Robert Hilborn; and, Gay Lea Foundation Director, Frances Johnston.

The Gay Lea Foundation is dedicated to supporting education, poverty relief, co-operative development and community well being projects in Canada and around the world. Funding is provided by annual support from Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited and supplemented by donations from the co-operative’s employees and producer members. For more information, visit  

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