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A photo of a food pantry worker handing box of food to a client.A photo of a food pantry worker handing box of food to a client.

Will provide more grants for congregations responding to COVID-19 needs

WINNIPEG, Man. – After a successful first year, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada has announced a new round of funding from the Spirit of MDS Fund.

The 2021 round of funding runs from January 31-April 30. It will provide grants up to $2,500 to Canadian Anabaptist/Mennonite congregations.

Funding is available to congregations to help meet practical needs in their communities for things like food, shelter, PPE and emergency financial assistance such as rent, groceries, medications.

It is also available on a case-by-case basis so congregations can assist people who need mental health support due to the pandemic.

Unlike the first round of funding in 2020, technology and camps will not be funded this time.

Preference will be given to congregations that are part of an Anabaptist-Mennonite denomination that supports MDS Canada, but applications from other churches will be considered.

Of special interest are ethnic and inner-city congregations whose members have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

“The first round of funding in 2020 went very well,” said Ross Penner, director of Canadian Operations for MDS Canada. “It was clear there were many needs that congregations were meeting.”

Last year MDS Canada provided 81 grants from the Fund, totalling $102,000, to churches and other organizations from Nova Scotia to B.C.

The money was used for things like food banks, meal programs, PPE, assistance for homeless people, technology for churches to help them connect with their members, and iPads for personal care homes so seniors could stay in touch with family and friends.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet,” said Penner. “The needs are continuing and, in some cases, growing as the pandemic keeps going.”

Congregations that want to apply for funding can find an application form on the MDS Canada website at mds.org/spirit-of-mds-fund

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