City votes to support four charities in upcoming budget- Councillors urge people to “dig deep into wallets” to help others

These tough economic times are taking their toll on nearly everyone, including those who care for our city’s most vulnerable.

On Thursday, four Lethbridge charities appeared before the City’s Economic and Finance Standing Policy Committee during day-three of their economic review process, to ask for help. Habitat for Humanity, Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, Lethbridge Food Bank and Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge each came with separate requests.

The Standing Policy Committee (SPC) voted unanimously to recommend City Council approve $150,000 from the municipal reserve, which would be divided equally between the four groups. That would give each non-profit a total of $37,500 per year going forward.

Economic and Finance SPC members agreed that although the economic outlook is grim, it’s important to think about those facing poverty. Councillor Belinda Crowson quoted a psychiatrist who sited that one of the leading causes of mental health issues is poverty.  

Mayor Blaine Hyggen stated that when this current operating budget came forward, “we had no idea we’d be in the times that we are….as much as we’d like to do more, this will take it through the next couple of years – put it into budget and hopefully at that time interest rates and inflation are a little more inline with what we’ve budgeted for.  At least there’s some relief with this $3,7500.”

Councillor Nick Paladino expressed his concern during these times. “I would encourage everyone to dig deep into your wallets and donate to these causes,” he says.

The Economic and Finance SPC also recommends the $150,000 amount be included in the city’s 2027-2030 operating budget.

Jeannette Rocher

Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Minnesota and Manitoba, Jeannette has had the opportunity to live in a variety of places including New York, Arizona, and Nevada. After completing college and a paid internship with CBC Winnipeg, Jeannette embarked on her journalism career by moving overseas to take a job on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. While overseas she covered stories in Fiji, Guam and Japan including the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan and its surrounding islands. She covered a mass shooting, an Earth quake, murder cases and other substantial court cases. In 2013 she moved to Alberta where she covered the devastating floods of High River and Medicine Hat for CTV News. She then went on to produce and host Go! Southern Alberta for Shaw TV. She now calls Miracle Channel home. In addition to reporting in the field, you can catch her anchoring daily weather reports, as well as longer interview segments on BCN, and the week-in-review show on BCN Weekends. 

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