IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #6 – Week 2 Wednesday, March 18, 2020

We continue to stay abreast of COVID 19 developments as they evolve. Port Cares remains in step with public health directives– and in many cases ahead of mandatory practices being implemented.

AGAIN PLEASE NOTE *For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing a fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

We are operating at reduced capacity and earlier this week we cancelled all non-essential services. Here is what’s new today …

  • Appointments for individual income tax filings are cancelled along with the Income Tax Clinic – all individual appointments will resume at future notice;
  • 92 Charlotte is open for ESSENTIAL SERVICES ONLY —  defined as TRUSTEESHIP and HOMELESS SERVICES;
  • A crew from our EarlyON team is continuing to travel across our EarlyON sites which have been closed to the public since Monday at 830 a.m. The team is conducting a deep clean, inventory and re-organizing all of our EarlyON sites
  • Terminal cleaning has commenced at the 92 Charlotte site – focussed on high traffic areas – specifically Main lobby and Main Hallway – once these areas are completed Terminal cleaning will then commence at the Reach Out Centre- focussed on the Member door entry and dining room entry door areas.
  • Effective immediately all travel between 92 Charlotte and the Reach Out Centre is RESTRICTED – only those staff who have the approval of the Executive Director will be permitted to travel between these to sites.  This is vital to preventing community spread over the course of the next few weeks.

Stay well everyone and thank you for keeping your chins up in these unprecedented times.

Christine Clark Lafleur

Executive Director

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #5 – Week 2

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

This morning the Province of Ontario declared a State of Emergency due to COVID 19. As a result there are new and additional measures in place.

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

Port Cares continues to take immediate actions. We are moving to cancel or modify all non-essential services.

  • Effective NOON today – all INCOME TAX CLINIC appointments scheduled this week at 92 Charlotte are CANCELLED. Appointments will be rescheduled at a future time.
  • Effective TOMORROW at 11 a.m. through to outbreak all clear – Food Bank clients will be provided with pre-packed groceries. The Food Bank store will be closed for client shopping and clients presenting at the Reach Out Centre Food Bank will receive their pre-packed groceries at the entry door once they have sanitized.
  • EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY Niagara College has cancelled its student placements – we will no longer have this vital assistance at the ROC.  
  • All Employment Ontario Services – Employment Services, LBS, Youth Job Connection and YJC Summer along with services for employers are AVAILABLE over the telephone or online. We will not be providing in person services until instructed otherwise.
  • Restricting Entry to non-essential services – the main lobby computers at 92 Charlotte have been taken out of service until further notice. This decision has been made to eliminate non-essential visitor traffic.

We will continue to keep you informed,

Christine Clark Lafleur

Executive Director

Additional Service Changes at Port Cares EarlyON Centres Across Niagara

Date of Issue: March 13, 2020                                                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Port Colborne, ON.:  Effective Monday, March 16th  at 8:30 a.m. Port Cares in compliance with direction from the Region of Niagara’s Childrens’ Services Department will be closing its six EarlyON Centres located across the region. The EarlyON centre closures are for public safety purposes in response to the emerging COVID 19 outbreak conditions. EarlyON Child and Family Centres provide free, high-quality drop-in programs for children from birth to six years of age, their parents and caregivers.

“We are taking these measures to assist in maintaining the well being and safety of the children, parents and caregivers we serve as well as our staff and volunteers and the community. As the COVID 19 situation is fluid, Port Cares will continue to work in partnership with the Region to respond and institute further measures as appropriate,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director.

Port Cares operates EarlyON Centres at the following locations:

  • EarlyON Port Colborne – 92 Charlotte Street, Port Colborne
  • EarlyON Welland – Seaway Mall, 800 Niagara Street, Welland
  • EarlyON Pelham – Old Town Hall 491 Canboro Road, Fenwick
  • EarlyON Lincoln – Providence Christian Reformed Church, 4845 King Street, Beamsville
  • EarlyON West Lincoln  — Smithville United Church   116 West Street  Smithville
  • EarlyON Fort Erie — St George Catholic Elementary School 3800 Wellington Rd  Crystal Beach

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for PORT CARES STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS, March 13 2020

Effective immediately, the following service changes have been implemented for public safety purposes at Port Cares and the Reach Out Centre in response to the emerging COVID 19 outbreak conditions.

  • Reach Out Centre Dining Hall is CLOSED until further notice which will be determined once the COVID 19 outbreak is over. Pre-packaged take out nutritious meals will be provided to registered clients. Clients can come to pick up meals on Mondays between 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays between 12 noon to 1 p.m. and Thursdays between 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. We are continuing to support those in need with food however for public safety reasons we will not be hosting community meals in the dining hall.
  • Food Bank will continue to operate at regular schedule HOWEVER we are instituting SOCIAL DISTANCING practices – a maximum of three clients at a time will be permitted in the waiting room.
  • Soupfest which was scheduled for Thursday, April 2, 2020 has been postponed until further notice.
  • Hand Sanitization Stations and products are in place at all Port Cares service sites – everyone entering our buildings MUST sanitize their hands upon entry.
  • Health Canada instruction posters about symptoms and practices have been posted across all sites to provide staff, clients, volunteers and visitors with authorized COVID 19 information.

“We are taking these measures to assist in maintaining the well being and safety of the people we serve, our staff and volunteers and our community. As the COVID 19 situation is fluid, Port Cares will continue to respond and institute further measures as appropriate,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director.

“We do expect that there will be an increased need for food to support those in need as the COVID 19 outbreak continues. We will continue to gratefully accept donations of food and funds to help alleviate the impact on individuals and families in our local community.”

All other services remain as normal at this time.

Port Colborne City Hall helps Port Cares feed those in need

Port Cares puts together about 200 school lunch kids every month, which helps give a healthy boost to more than 1,000 children each school year. The school lunch program runs entirely on donations, and last week city hall presented Port Cares with a cheque for more than $7,500.

“This came out of an initiative to get our current and future leaders to be engaged in their community,” said Scott Luey, the city’s chief administrative officer. Luey gave them one year to brainstorm ideas and implement a fundraising campaign that could be used to support a local charity. One of those ideas was a calendar, which helped bring in thousands for the Port Cares lunch program.

There are still about 150 calendars left, which the city has given to Port Cares to be used as a handout. Anyone who makes a donation to the Port Cares food bank will get a free calendar, while supplies last.

With temperatures plummeting to 17 below freezing in Port Colborne this week, foodbank items that are aimed at the homeless are in strong demand at Port Cares. Amanda Upper, who works with many of the city’s vulnerable as the supervisor of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre, said donations to the food bank that can be distributed to the city’s homeless will have the greatest impact.

“Remember these are people who might not have a stove or a microwave or anything to prepare a meal, so what we really need are things like power bars and energy bars, or canned items that have a pull-tab, because again, they might not even own a can opener,” said Upper.

To make a donation, or to get information about the school lunch program, visit the Port Cares Reach Out Centre at 61 Nickel Street or call 905-835-1914.

Story by James Culic

Niagara This Week

James Culic is an Ottawa-expat, reporting the news around Niagara’s southern tier. He also writes a weekly opinion column which people seem to love to hate-read.

Port Cares 21st Annual Dinner and Auction

The 21st Annual Port Cares Dinner and Auction is a chance for community members to support something bigger than a one-day event. Together, our efforts will help those in our community with social and economic needs improve their quality of life.

“The effect of poverty and low income on local families remains persistent in our community. We continue to see more and more families come to the Reach Out Centre food bank who once they pay their rent and utilities have little left for food for their children. We rely solely on fundraising and donations to run the food bank, crisis services, meal program and other vital services up and running at the Reach Out Centre which assists approximately 1,300 local residents – a third of which are children. The Annual Port Cares Dinner and Auction is our major fundraising event for the year and every penny raised goes directly to support the Reach Out Centre. Our goal is to raise $57,000 at the event through our silent auction, live auction, ticket sales and sponsorship,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.

“We’re asking local businesses, artisans, corporations and community members if they can do so to provide a donations of items and or services for the silent and live auction. All proceeds from the silent and live auction will help keep the doors of the Reach Out Centre open for local families in need. We are truly humbled by the support  and we welcome any new or potential donors to contact Port Cares in person, by telephone or through social media” says Christine.

WHAT:                  Port Cares 21st Annual Dinner and Auction to support children, families and individuals in your community who rely on the Port Cares Reach Out Centre food bank, meal program and poverty relief services


WHERE:                 Italian Canadian Cultural Centre (223 Bell Street, Port Colborne)

WHEN:                  Thursday, November 21st. Reception at 6:00PM, Dinner served at 7:30PM  

  • The event expects to host 300 members of the community
  • Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at Port Cares (92 Charlotte St.) or by phone (905-834-3629 x 245)
  • Tickets include a three-course meal and a $40 charitable donation receipt
  • This year’s theme is Are you a little bit country, or a little bit rock n’ roll?
  • Items up for auction include: Meridian Centre Suite (with beverages) for an Ice Dogs game, One-week rental in Nelson British Columbia, Home Décor, Sports Tickets, Weekend Cottage Rental on Lake Erie
  • In 2018, the Reach Out Centre food bank distributed 172,148 pounds of food to those in need
  • 7, 753 plates were served through our kitchen in 2018
  • We were able to distribute 1,648 school lunch kits (8,240 lunches) between September 2018-June 2019

For more information about Port Cares or the Dinner and Auction, please call Shelby at 905-834-3629 x 245.

Port Colborne Lions Club – Wainfleet Lions Club Food Drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre and Food Bank

Port Colborne, Ontario (October 16, 2019) – The Port Colborne Lions Club and Wainfleet Lions Club will once again be out in full force on Saturday November 2nd. Their wonderful team of volunteers will be collecting food and monetary donations from local Port Colborne and Wainfleet residents for their annual food drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre.

Residents of Port Colborne are asked to leave any canned or dry goods out on their porches by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 2nd to be collected by the volunteers supporting the food drive. The main collection hub is located at 484 Barrick Road, Port Colborne.

Residents of Wainfleet Township are asked to either drop their non- perishable food donations off in-advance at the Meridian Credit Union located at 31885 Highway 3, Wainfleet, beginning Monday, October 28 through Friday,  November 1, or to come to Meridian Credit Union (Wainfleet Branch) on the day of the food drive Saturday, November 2  between 9:00 a.m. and noon. Interested volunteers please contact Lion Laura Slat; 289-407-0106.

“Our local community has struggled with the effects of poverty for more than 40 years. As difficult as the struggle has been, the compassion and the care of the community has been even greater. Right now there are nearly 400 local children who are supported by the Port Cares Reach Out Centre Food Bank. The Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Club food drive will ensure that low income children and families who struggle to get by will be assured of nutritious food through the cold winter months. Our Port Cares team appreciates the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work side by side Lions and community members at the 2019 Lions Food Drive.” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director, Port Cares.

The food donations collected will provide the Port Cares Reach Out Centre with much needed resources for clients during the winter months, when the need for food is the greatest.

MOST NEEDED ITEMS:

Canned fruit, canned fish, canned meat, canned pasta, side dishes, dry soup, peanut butter, pull-tab cans, diapers sizes 4 & 5, deodorant, shampoo and toothbrushes. Cash or cheques accepted (made payable to Port Cares).

QUICK FACTS:

  • In 2018, the Food Drive collected 30,502lbs and $7,025 in monetary donations.
  • In 2018, the Reach Out Centre food bank distributed 172,148 pounds of food to those in need.
  • Seven thousand, seven hundred and fifty three plates were served through our kitchen in 2018.

For more information on the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs Food Drive please contact:

  • Port Colborne Lions Club – Lion Laura Slat, 289-407-0106; Lion Jeremy Hamm, 905-327-9799
  • Wainfleet Lions Club – Lion John Taylor, 905-834-6032
  • Meridian Credit Union, Wainfleet Branch – Dan Bouchard, 905-899-3951

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.

News Release – Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs Food Drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre

Port Colborne Lions Club – Wainfleet Lions Club Food Drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre and Food Bank

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Port Colborne, Ontario (October 9, 2018) – The Port Colborne Lions Club and Wainfleet Lions Club will once again be out in full force on Saturday November 3rd. Their wonderful team of volunteers will be collecting food and monetary donations from local Port Colborne and Wainfleet residents for their annual food drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre.

Residents of Port Colborne are asked to leave any canned or dry goods out on their porches by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 3rd to be collected by the volunteers supporting the food drive.

Residents of Wainfleet Township are asked to either drop their non- perishable food donations off in-advance at the Meridian Credit Union located at 31885 Highway 3, Wainfleet, beginning  Monday, October 29 through Friday,  November 2, or to come to Meridian Credit Union (Wainfleet Branch) on the day of the food drive Saturday, November 3  between 9:00 a.m. and noon.

“The tremendous effort from the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs, their volunteers and generous community donors will impact hundreds of children and adults who live in poverty. Here at Port Cares we are extremely grateful for all of the community efforts that are being put towards the food drive. Port Colborne and Wainfleet residents are always so incredible and giving towards the annual Food Drive. Our Port Cares team is excited to roll up our sleeves and work along side the Lions and all the community volunteers at this years food drive,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director, Port Cares.

The food donations collected will provide the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre with much needed resources for clients during the winter months, when the need for food is the greatest.

MOST NEEDED ITEMS:

Canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta & sauce, peanut butter, baked beans, large juice bottles, deodorant, shampoo, soap, large juice bottles, baby food, formula and diapers.

QUICK FACTS:

  • In 2017, the Port Cares food bank distributed 204,395 pounds of food
  • In 2017, the Food Drive collected 31,652lbs and $5,379 in monetary donations, in addition to promoting awareness and community collaboration.

For more information on the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs Food Drive please contact:

  • Port Colborne Lions Club – Lion Jeremy Hamm, 905-327-9799, George DeRuyte 289-820-6163
  • Wainfleet Lions Club – Lion John Taylor, 905-933-7364
  • Meridian Credit Union, Wainfleet Branch – Katarina Chataway, 905-899-3951

News Release – Sherkston Supermart Donation

Sherkston Supermart pitches in to support Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre’s School Childrens’ Lunch Kit Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Port Colborne, Ontario (August 30, 2018) – For local school children in need going back to school next week will be a whole lot easier knowing that they will have nutritious lunches thanks to Sherkston Supermart’s support of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre  School Lunch Kit program.

The Bodner Family and their business Sherkston Supermart inside Sherkston Shores Resort have donated $2,500 to support the Lunch Kit program which is 100 per cent reliant on donation and philanthropic support. Last school year 2,404 lunch kits were provided to local children supplying 12,020 individual lunches to elementary and secondary school students during the school year.

“Through the support of Sobeys we offer a wide selection of nutritious and delicious products but it is important for us to remember that not everyone has equal access to food or basic needs. Our partnership with Sobeys Wholesale has helped our success and allowed us to help our community by supporting this very important program.” said Ron Bodner.

“This donation comes on the fourth anniversary of our launch of this important service. Every child who is registered for the lunch kit program is a child living in a low income or poor family where choices have to made about whether there is enough money to pay the rent or buy nutritious healthy food. Port Cares started this program with the incredible support of the Branscombe Family Foundation and we are blessed to have the number of community supporters grow every year,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director, Port Cares.

“On behalf of the children and families we serve we sincerely thank Ron, Claire, James and Glen – the Bodner Family – for  their generosity and community goodwill.”

QUICK FACTS ABOUT PORT CARES REACH OUT FOOD CENTRE:

  • The food bank assists 1,200 A third of the people reliant on the food bank are children.
  • On average, 17,000 to 20,000 pounds of food is distributed through the food bank each month.
  • The most needed food items for the food bank include: canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, cereal, jam, baby food, formula, diapers and personal hygiene items.
  • Last school year the Reach Out Food Centre, located at 61 Nickel Street, provided 2,020 lunch kits (12,000 lunches) to local school age children who live in low income households.
  • Hot and nutritious community meals are served three times a week to families and individuals in need. More than 50 adults and children typically attend each meal. In the winter months there will be nearly 100 clients attending at meal time.