Category Archives: News at Port Cares

News at Port Cares

News Release – Countdown is on to Port Cares 20th Annual Dinner and Auction in support of poverty relief across South Niagara

Countdown is on to Port Cares 20th Annual Dinner and Auction in support of poverty relief across South Niagara

Port Colborne, ON (October 16, 2018) – The countdown is on with one month to go until the Port Cares 20th Annual Dinner and Auction, taking place on Friday, November 16th at the Italian Canadian Cultural Centre in Port Colborne. The auction will raise funds in support of poverty relief services provided through the agency’s Reach Out Food Centre and Food Bank.

“Fundraising and donations keep the food bank, crisis services, meal program and other vital services up and running at the Reach Out Food Centre. This is the twentieth year for the Port Cares Dinner and Auction, which is our major fundraising event for the year. Our goal is to raise $60,000 at the event through our silent auction, live auction, ticket sales and sponsorship,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.

“We’re busy right now calling on local businesses, artisans, corporations and community members for donations of items and services. The donations collected will be used for the silent and live auction. We are truly humbled by the support thus and we welcome and encourage any new or potential donors to contact the agency in person, by telephone or through social media” says Christine. Some of the Items currently on the roster for the silent and live auction include a Niagara River Lions jersey and basketball, tickets to a Buffalo Sabres games, hand-crafted Mennonite quilt, ladies fashion accessories, a weekend retreat at a Lake Erie Beach house and an artisan Muskoka chair and foot stool. “Truly there is something for everyone,” says Christine.

More than 100 tickets are available for sale at $80.00 per person, which includes a four-course meal catered at the Italian Canadian Cultural Centre and a $40 charitable donation receipt. This year’s theme is ‘An Evening in Paris’. Since 2014, the Port Cares Dinner and Auction has raised more than $230,000 to help run the Reach Out Food Centre

Event Sponsors: Boggio Family of Pharmacies, Rankin Construction Inc., Bosch Rexroth Canada, Stolk Construction LTD, Blackadder Leon Marion and Fazari LLP, Kate Ostryhon-Lumsden and Nicki Lumsden from Re/Max Welland Realty, Meridian Credit Union, Port Colborne Quarries Inc., The Vision Clinic, Whites’ Insurance Brokers, Country 89, Giant FM 91.7, Gotcha Covered, Niagara This Week, and The Music Depot.

Port Cares Pancake Brunch a success

A huge thank you to the over 200 people who turned out for our 6th annual Pancake Brunch at our Reach Out Centre on 61 Nickel St. in Port Colborne and helped us raise over $3000 to aid those facing homelessness in our community.

A special thank you to ADM Milling for the delicious pancake mix; to Shaun Slat of Tendercuts for not only donating all of the sausages for the event but also helping to serve the meals, to Christine Strom Harper, owner of the Tim Horton’s at 197 Main. St East for donating 3 huge containers of Tim Horton’s coffee and hot chocolate; to Grant Jennings from Sobeys for the juice and toppings and to Dean, Sarah and Amanda for cooking up a storm.

1517948827610Verge Insurance also donated $500 towards the event for homelessness prevention. Hats off also to all of the folks from Giant FM;Country 89; Whites/Verge Insurance and to Mayor April Jeffs, Board members Cathy Boggio and Ashleigh Miatello and to the Port Cares staff who pitched in and the fantastic volunteers for their wonderful help. We could not have done it without you!!!! What a great community we live in!


Port Colborne & Wainfleet Lions Food Drive Nov.4

Many residents of Port Colborne, Wainfleet and South Niagara currently rely on our Reach Out Food Centre at 61 Nickel Street. On November 4th the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs will be holding their annual food drive. We are grateful for their support because it helps to make it possible for us to continue to to serve 200 meals each week, provide school children with lunch kits and distribute 17,000 to 20,000 lbs of food monthly.
This food drive would not be possible without the many volunteers who will be collecting food, and sorting it for transport to our Food Bank on Saturday November 4th.
Residents in Port Colborne can leave their food food on their door steps by 9 am as volunteers will be going door to door in Port Colborne. Wainfleet residents can drop their food off at their local Meridian Branch on HWY 3.
A huge thank you to all of the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions members for their support; to the incredible volunteers who are donating their time to help collect and sort food; to the Christian Life Assembly Church and the Meridian Branch in Wainfleet for the use of their space. And to you, the donors, who generously give food to this food drive so that those in need in your community can have access to hot meals and food through our Food Bank and Reach Out Centre.
If you missed the food drive or wish to donate food items during the year, please call our Food Bank at 905-835-1914. Thank you.
To learn more about this Lions Club Food Drive for your community and surrounding areas, please see this recent article in the Tribune : Read more about this important food drive
Annual Port Colborne & Wainfleet FOOD DRIVE FINAL

A Thanksgiving of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a time of family, celebration and sharing gratitude.  And for the 1,496 residents of Port Colborne, Wainfleet and South Niagara who currently rely on the food bank and meal services of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC), people in need will share in the celebration of gratitude this Thanksgiving thanks to the amazing outpouring of community and corporate support Port Cares and the Reach Out Food Centre receives.

“We are truly blessed to have such a compassionate and giving community. We receive support from the young children who collect food donations at their daycares and schools to small businesses and major corporations providing food, services and financial gifts. Port Cares relies on all of this kindness to run the Reach Out Centre including the Food bank, community meals and intervention programs,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director.

While the need to help is daunting, the support is overwhelming Clark Lafleur explains. She notes that throughout the year and especially at festive holiday times like Thanksgiving and Christmas Port Cares and its Reach Out Centre receives an outpouring of support. “We are truly blessed to without even asking have the individuals and companies like the Leon Family and Leon’s Furniture Limited step forward to help. The Leon family through Leon’s Furniture Limited provided a substantial gift to Port Cares to assist the work we do for young children at the centre.  They shared with us that they wanted to recognize their gratitude by assisting the less fortunate by sharing compassion, care and comfort to those who need it most. Their gift is directly supporting the food bank and meal program at the Reach Out Centre.”

Approximately 120 to 140 people are anticipated to attend the Thanksgiving Dinner Meal at the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre this Thursday, October 5th with the Port Colborne Fire Department hosting by supplying turkeys, and helping to prepare and serve alongside community volunteers and client helpers.

Not all of the people in our community who require food assistance participate in the ROFC meal program. Many more will receive food support through the ROFC food bank.

“Our clients are truly appreciative of the compassion and support they receive not only at Thanksgiving but year round. They do their best to give back and share their gratitude as best they can when their personal situations improve. This is what Port Cares is truly about – help, hope and opportunity.”


  • More than a third of the people reliant on the ROFC food bank are children.
  • Typically 50 adults and children attend the lunch program on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC) at 61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne.
  • Approximately 100 individuals attend the weekly dinner on Thursday evenings at the ROFC.
  • Lunch kits with supplies to make five nutritious lunches are provided to families with school age children through the Reach Out Centre food bank
  • On average 17,000 to 20,000 pounds of food is distributed monthly through the ROFC food bank.
  • Port Cares Reach Out Centre relies on donations, grants and fundraising to provide services and assistance to people living in poverty.

Thanksgiving 2017


Homelessness is a reality in our community but there is help.

At any given time there could be as many as 100 individuals including families with children who are homeless in our community. They are the families who cannot find affordable housing, and who are struggling with unemployment and poverty. They are the hidden homeless, such as the young person sitting next to your child in school who has been sleeping on someone’s floor or outdoors because they are not safe at home. Or it could be an individual dealing with addiction or mental illness.

Homelessness has many faces. Let us help you or someone you know. At Port Cares we have dedicated staff that will assist individuals facing homelessness and we currently have access to 24 transitional housing units. Together with other community agencies we provide support so individuals can move forward at their own pace and find a place to call home.

Here is a success story we would like to share:  In 2016 our Housing Coordinator Dave advocated for a blind man so he could  to remain in the housing program after his apartment flooded numerous times. “We found him temporary lodging in a motel, negotiated with past and present landlords and established income sources for new apartment costs for moving and last months’ rent. Imagine being blind and on a limited income when everything starts to go wrong. Think about the trust you have to put in someone who states that it will take time when you have just got out of bed in the morning and are standing in water. This individual thanks us almost every day for his safe affordable apartment that he moved into last spring.”

How can you help? Please consider  attending our upcoming Pancake Brunch at our Reach Out Centre on Feb. 7  where we hope to raise funds for our Client Services and Housing initiatives. Thank You.

Pancake Flyer 2017 final


Hunger still real in our community and across Ontario

The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) released a new report on November 28th , revealing that over 335,000 individuals — more than one third children — are turning to food banks each month. Despite improvements in the economy, food bank use remains seven per cent higher than pre-recession numbers, and staggering hydro prices and lack of full time  employment are contributing to increased hunger in Ontario.Statistics from Port Cares were included in this report.

More than 1,100 individuals are currently registered at the Reach Out Centre food bank with approximately 500 to 700 of these people receiving service every month.  Approximately one third of the people served every month at the food bank are children under the age of 18.

“We are fortunate because of the care and compassion and giving spirit of our citizens. Port Cares and the Reach Out Centre have been able to provide wholesome and nutritious food because of the generosity of local residents, organizations and businesses who continue to donate to those less fortunate.”


“People in our community are experiencing the same economic pressures as those in other areas of Ontario when it comes to increasing costs for hydroelectricity, transportation and housing.

And increasingly in the colder months, it becomes a very real struggle to put these expenses ahead of feeding themselves and their families,” said Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.

To donate to our food bank, volunteer or find out how you can help those in need in our community please contact Karin at 905-834-3629 ext.245.


This week is ” Every Plate Full” week across Canada. Please donate to your local Food Banks.

Right now here in the community of Port Colborne there are families and individuals who must rely on the Port Cares Food Bank to be able to feed themselves and the ones they love.

In 2015 we served an average of 615 individuals each month and 218 were children!

Did you know that NO food bank in Canada  receives any kind of support from ANY type of government? Food Banks were created by and are run by community groups, agencies  and citizens who care deeply about the poverty facing many of our fellow community members.

How can you help? Please consider donating your time as a Volunteer or Sponsor a meal at our Food Bank and Reach out Centre at 61 Nickel Street. We also gratefully accept donations of  fresh food and non perishable items in addition to monetary donations.

To learn more please contact our Reach Out Centre at 905-835-1914 or email us at


Did you know that Port Cares is celebrating 30 years of service to our Community in 2016?

We are proud to announce that we have been supporting Community members with access to free services to enhance and improve their lives for over 30 years.

In celebration we will be featuring a different service available at Port Cares on a regular basis so you can learn more about our programs and services and see if we can be of assistance to you or someone you know. It is also a great way for us to look back at how far we have journeyed as a community agency and thank everyone who has been involved with Port Cares for their outstanding dedication and contributions. 30thPortCares_Stacked_Twitter_Rast-01


Port Cares celebrates National Volunteer Week

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week. Volunteers are the roots of strong communities. Just like roots are essential for trees to bloom, volunteers are essential for communities to boom. At Port Cares, we are very fortunate to have several dedicated, wonderful and caring volunteers.  Please join us in celebrating these amazing individuals! If you are interested in Volunteering please contact Shelby Hemingway at

Volunteer Video