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Gay Lea Foundation 2018 Grant Announcements

Since its creation in 2014, the Gay Lea Foundation has awarded grants to more than 20 registered Canadian charities doing important development work in Canada, Haiti, Central America, Asia and Africa. In 2018, amidst an ever-expanding stream of applications, the Foundation awarded grants to registered charities working in Ontario, Manitoba, Nicaragua, Uganda, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read on to learn more about these organizations, the unique projects they’ve undertaken to cultivate hope  for those who need it most, and how Gay Lea Foods is making a difference for people and families around the world!



Improving the health of rural African communities through partnerships to facilitate programs and initiatives for disease prevention, treatment, care, support and education.

Project: The Tchukudu Womens’ Training Centre 

A small training centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo that caters to women who have fled their home villages due to ongoing violence in Eastern Congo, and find themselves in the city with no skills to support themselves and their families.

Foundation Donation: $19,500 to support a two year program where women are trained and supported while they learn new skills, such as sewing and basket-weaving, so they can begin their own individual or cooperative businesses to generate income.



Working to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Africa through improved access to primary health care, adequate and nutritious food, clean water, improved hygiene and sanitation, and the creation of secure livelihoods.

Project: Benishangul-Gumuz Food Security and Economic Growth Project (Phase 2, Year 2) 

Focused on increasing food security and supporting economic growth in a remote and underserviced area of Ethiopia  through crop production and productivity enhancement, nutrition education and training, and market development through co-operatives.

Foundation Donation: $30,000 to support the final year of the project by helping to solidify and sustain three co-operatives established in the first year of the project, support the formation of one new co-operative, and provide community education on nutritional food preparation for mothers. The Foundation also supported Year 1 of the Phase 2 project in 2017.



Providing home and community services to support and strengthen the health, independence and quality of life for individuals and their families in Huron County, Ontario with programs like Meals on Wheels, transportation, adult day programs, seniors’ dining meals, home care, exercise and wellness.

Foundation Donation: $20,000 to replace an old and inefficient freezer in the organization’s Clinton-based kitchen, where more than 100 meals are prepared daily for delivery to ONE CARE clients.



An affordable one-week, full-day camp program for children aged 6-12 living in the area of New Dundee, Ontario, designed to promote activity and good sportsmanship while providing a full-day child care opportunity for young families.

Foundation Donation: $1,500 to subsidize the camp fees charged to each camper in order to keep the registration fees low enough for all children to be able to take part.



Committed to enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing both recreational and competitive sports programs.

Project: Durham Shooting Stars Rhythmic Gymnastics Club 

Foundation Donation: $21,131 for the purchase of a regulation, FIG certified rhythmic gymnastics carpet that will allow members of the Durham Shooting Stars to practice in a safe environment, as well as provide enhanced opportunities for workshops and competitions for all Special Olympic rhythmic athletes in the province of Ontario.



Helping those diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses address the financial, social and emotional stresses that can occur due to the unexpected high costs of medical expenses.

Foundation Donation: $5,000 to support the Rural Rainy Day Grocery & Shelter Program, which provides up to $1,000 per patient/year in the form of grocery gift cards, past-due rent payments and past-due utilities payments, to help ensure patients can recover in their own homes.



Providing subsidized bridge housing and supportive counseling for individuals and families facing a housing crisis in the Halton, Ontario region, for up to two years, so they can address the problems that caused the crisis and prepare themselves for independent housing.

Foundation Donation: $10,000 for counseling to help individuals set goals, develop a plan to meet those goals, and access the resources necessary to accomplish housing independence.



Working to address development concerns Sub-Saharan Africa related to the promotion of health, disease prevention, and poverty alleviation.

Foundation Donation: $33,512.93 to equip 50 youth with the skills and resources to start a small, income-generating agri-business through the provision of start-up funding, on-the-ground training, access to a Community Development Centre (with information technologies) and links to mentors in their communities.



Advocating for those who have been impacted by poverty, homelessness and physical illness or trauma by helping community members find housing, partake in job readiness programs and secure mental health care.

Project: RentSmart

A certificate program designed to prepare community members who are transitioning out of a shelter that has three main goals: 1) help people find and/or maintain good housing; 2) reduce conflict, damages, and evictions; and, 3) increase housing stability.

Foundation Donation: $3,500 to purchase the requisite workbooks for the RentSmart program.



Helping marginalized, underprivileged and minority groups in Nicaragua live more meaningful and productive lives by focusing on health issues, educational programs and agricultural projects.

Project: Cocoa for the Rural Department of Boaco 

Improving the quality of life for 24 extremely poor families in central Nicaragua through the introduction of cocoa to provide crop diversity and move the community beyond a barely subsistence livelihood. An infrastructure and basic processing equipment will also be established and maintained in a central location.

Foundation Donation: $20,694 to supply cocoa plants and equipment, as well as provide training and assistance for the families. The Gay Lea Foundation previously supported SHEAF in the construction of more than 120 latrines in rural Nicaragua.


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