Following social distancing guidelines, Yanik D’Aigle, president of the Rotary Club of Yellowknife, finds a unique way to pass a novelty cheque to Ben Linaker, United Way NWT board member, signifying a donation that will be matched to provide $12,000 to Yellowknife school boards for food support to children.

The Rotary Club of Yellowknife is pleased to partner with the United Way and the Yellowknife Community Foundation to provide $12,000 to Yellowknife school boards for food support to children in this trying time through the Together, We Are Strong campaign.

For more than 15 years, the Rotary Club of Yellowknife — with an annual donation from the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) — has funded and supported with volunteers, the Rotary School Snack Program at city elementary schools.

“The Rotary Club of Yellowknife is thrilled to partner with these two organizations to see the donation from the Union of Northern Workers have an even greater impact for the children in our community,” said Rotary club president Yanik D’Aigle.

“Unfortunately, for some of the kids, food insecurity was not suspended along with attending classes, so there remains a need in the community in general but for students in particular.”

One school each in Yellowknife Education District No. 1 and Yellowknife Catholic Schools received daily deliveries of preferred nutrition items identified by the schools. As schools have been closed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, these programs have been interrupted. However, the needs of some families remained a concern. With the school closures, each school board has set up a system to get food gift cards from city grocers into the hands of needy families.

The Rotary Club of Yellowknife had $6,000 left in this year’s School Snack Program budget. The Together, We Are Strong campaign is raising funds to support the immediate needs of NWT groups supporting those left vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Donations to the campaign up to $50,000 are being matched by the Yellowknife Community Foundation. The UNW was thrilled to see its seed donation grow in this fashion.

D’aigle noted as there is a cap of $5,000 per recipient in Together We Are Strong program, the remaining $2,000 will go to other well-deserving applicants, at the discretion of the United Way, facing food insecurity or other critical needs as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The Rotary Club of Yellowknife is a service club of community members — celebrating its 50th year on 2020 — who work within the local and world community to make a difference.