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Timmins gets $1.3M for food security, economic development

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In town Monday, Timmins MPP George Pirie announced $1.3 million in funding through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. for four economic development projects in Timmins.

The province said the money will help address food insecurities, improve municipal infrastructure, expand company operations and create jobs in the northeast.

Nearly half of the funding -- $400,000 -- goes to Parker Construction and Parker Equipment to build a heavy equipment repair and maintenance facility, and purchase a dozer and an excavator.

Three out of four of the recipients help feed people.

“Families across the country are depending on accessing food banks to put food on their table every day and Timmins is no exception to that," said Brian Marks, chief administrative officer of the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board.

"Our own estimates are that between five and 10 per cent of households in the City of Timmins access food bank services. That’s a large number.”

Included in the funding is $102,500 for the Sikh Sangat of Timmins to build a community kitchen and shelter within the Gurdwara, a place of assembly and worship where people of all faiths are welcome.

"Students come and collaborate with each other and make food -- those who are living over there so it’s very helpful and kind," said Amandeep Singh Siledar, a student in Timmins and member of the local Sikh community.

Pirie said about 80 per cent of Northern College's student body is comprised of students from India and other locations and said they're helping grow the region.

“They’re entrepreneurial and they’re here because they want to be here," he said.

NATURAL ADVANTAGES

"They see the natural advantages that we have here in Timmins with lots of fresh air, fresh water ... I want to be around people that want to be around here.”

The Costello Community Care Centre is able to install a new steel roof, eavestroughs and downspouts thanks to $89,057 in funding.

And Pirie also announced $741,917 for the District of Cochrane Social Services Administration Board to purchase and renovate the former Daily Press building on Cedar Street South to create a central food services and security hub.

“We wanted to amplify the impact that the food bank was having by bringing in partners like the anti-hunger coalition who could engage in programming so that when people received a bag of goods, they knew what to do with it and be able to prepare nutritious meals and do menu planning," said Marks.

A new name for the hub and grand opening will take place in the near future. 

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