Ottawa Cares was launched in April 2020 because there was a need for a community- and city ward-wide response.
Many businesses and organizations successfully pivoted unused resources to new uses. The Manor Park Community Council (MPCC) pivoted a ‘work-from-home’ management team to the Ottawa Cares project.
The MPCC team worked with talented local volunteers from across our city ward: humanitarian aid professionals, and technology experts. Soon the project to deliver food bank hampers to residents grew to include delivery of prepared meals, managing nearly 170 volunteers, and developing software solutions to help.
With an 86% drop in revenue, the MPCC was looking for new funding sources to keep the team going.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the McConnell Foundation who awarded an emergency grant to the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (RRCRC) to kick off the food hamper deliveries. The Government of Canada, through the Red Cross stepped up next with grants for prepared meals, hamper deliveries, wages and supports for programs to promote wellness in the community. Red Cross funding continues until the end of May 2021.
Meanwhile, we are grateful to the Ottawa Food Bank for their efforts to secure emergency funding to continue food hamper deliveries. Our fingers are crossed for support from Second Harvest to continue providing prepared meals. But the most important news is that we are seeking multi-year sustainable funding.