Bayer Fund

Grant helps get nutritious food into the hands of community members in need

Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba – Access to nutritious food is something HERO’S Alliance aims to provide residents of Lac Du Bonnet through its Lunch Is On Us program, which helps individuals who are often underserved by existing programs.

The non-profit is run by citizens and local professionals who volunteer their time, and through the Lunch Is On Us program, community members can get nutritious soup and a bun at no cost and with no registration requirements. Over 100 meals are served per week, and those who use the program benefit not just from good food, but also a chance to connect to others.

The program was established to help combat the food insecurity experienced by people in the community that was exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19 restrictions and isolation. Many of those who use the program have barriers to accessing the food they need, whether it be related to finances, mobility, or housing circumstances.

Tracy Neurenberg of Crescent Bay Farms Ltd. is a local farmer of wheat, soybeans, canola, and oats who nominated HERO’S Alliance for the $2,500 Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC) grant. Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities is a program offered by Bayer Crop Science to strengthen rural communities through local non-profit organizations that do much-needed work in their communities.

Tracy says she nominated HERO’S Alliance for the CFGC grant because she volunteers her time with the non-profit and sees firsthand how it benefits those in the community who need it most.

“I was extremely happy to know that the program would have secure funding to continue operating and helping our community,” she says. “Food security is so important to maintaining physical and mental health.”

She notes that many farmers are already active volunteers within their community, so her message to them would be that it only takes a few minutes of their time to nominate a worthy cause in their community for the CFGC grant.

“The nomination process is extremely easy to complete,” she says. “The funding that an organization can receive can do an immense amount of good and the value of the CFGC grant will multiply exponentially in the hands of dedicated volunteers.”

Kristen Ticknor, a dietitian in Lac Du Bonnet’s health region and co-director of HERO’S Alliance, says the funds from the CFGC grant went towards purchasing additional ingredients to prepare nutritious soups for the Lunch Is On Us program. Many of the ingredients used otherwise come from the local food bank.

“It was an amazing and exciting feeling to find out the program was receiving the CFGC grant,” she says. “The program coordinator and other volunteers work so hard and secure as many ingredients as cost-effectively as they can. The program is completely dependent on donations and knowing that others feel passionate about the program and how it helps the community is a wonderful feeling.”