City Council approved more than $80,000 in community grants through the 2019-2020 Saskatchewan Lotteries Grant on March 11. The assists in the development of sport, culture and recreation programs by providing funds to non-profit community organizations operated by volunteers.

The total available for community grants this year is $81,414, an increase from last year’s available grant funding of $67,222. The city’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Advisory Committee worked to determine the recipients of grant funds, which turned out to be twelve of the seventeen applications received. Councillor Aaron Buckingham sits on the committee and says it was no easy task choosing who could receive the funding.

“Sitting on the FCSS committee is both a blessing and a large burden to be quite honest. We talked about it in council today, there’s $56,000 in requests that couldn’t be granted through that committee in this particular sitting,” says Buckingham.

Organizations like the Lloydminster Interval Home Society, the Lloydminster Youth Council, the Lloydminster and Area Brain Injury Society and the Native Friendship Centre were among those chosen to receive grant funding. Grant recipients were chosen based on a number of criteria, including accessibility, community impact and financial.

Buckingham notes that the larger amount allocated for grant funding is due to people filling out the census. A larger population on the Saskatchewan side means a larger allocation of funds from Saskatchewan Lotteries. With that money going directly to these organizations, Buckingham remarks the difficulty choosing which applicants receive it.

“We were able to allocate every single dollar of that funding. It’s a straight flow-through from the provincial government through the city to these organizations. It’s an onerous process, and you want to help everyone you can, but unfortunately, that’s not always the reality.”