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Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative - Food Banks - Issue Report - February 25, 2021

Report To: Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board

From: Donna Stewart, Director of Integrated Social Services

Date: February 25, 2021

Re: Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative - Food Banks - Issue Report


To provide the Board with information on the Food Banks across the entire Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB catchment area.


Originally implemented in January 2013, the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) is a 100 per cent provincially funded outcomes-based program that aims to prevent and end homelessness by improving access to adequate, suitable, and affordable housing and homelessness services for people experiencing homelessness and for people at-risk of homelessness.

CHPI is administered under a service agreement between the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and each DSSAB/CMSM. The responsibility for delivering CHPI in local communities rests with 47 DSSABs/CMSMs across Ontario. DSSABs are provided with funding and flexibility to offer programs and services to meet the objectives and outcomes of CHPI.

Program Objectives

Consistent with the provincial context, CHPI has the following objectives:

  • support the province’s goal to end chronic homelessness by 2025; 
  • reduce reliance on emergency shelters and services and increase efforts in homelessness prevention programs; 
  • allow SMs flexibility to provide a full range of services that have proven to reduce and prevent homelessness at the local level; 
  • facilitate the development of seamless services and programs that connect people to community resources and assist households to obtain and retain affordable housing that is linked to supports appropriate to their needs; 
  • promote a culture of policy, planning and service delivery that is focused on an outcomes-based and people-centered approach, while recognizing the complexity of homelessness and issues related to homelessness; 
  • create and support opportunities for SMs to develop creative and innovative approaches to homelessness, which are aligned with their local housing and homelessness plans and meet the intended outcomes of CHPI.

Investment Plan

DSSABs are required to submit an annual investment plan to the ministry. The ministry reviews and approves investment plans from a financial and program perspective to ensure that the plans are in compliance with the CHPI Program Guidelines before the DSSAB receives funding.

The investment plan requires staff to forecast and outline how we anticipate spending their CHPI funds in the upcoming fiscal year, across all categories.

Every year, we indicate in our Investment Plan that we spend in all 4 of the following categories:

  1. Emergency Shelter Solutions
  2. Housing with Related Supports
  3. Other Services and Supports
  4. Homelessness Prevention.

Emergency Shelter Solutions

Emergency shelter solutions include services and supports that provide relief or protect households / people who are experiencing homelessness.

Emergency shelter solutions are expected to operate from a housing first and people-centred approach. It is also expected that there will be an eventual shift from reliance on emergency shelter solutions to preventative services.

In the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB catchment area, the food bank usage has increased by 15% since last year.

For example, as a result of the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB’s Enumeration report, staff reached out to the Chapleau Pentecostal Church in May of 2019 as the need for a food bank was evident in the community of Foleyet. Since the Chapleau Pentecostal Church food bank opened in June 2019, they have now doubled in size. 

Most recently, as a result of COVID-19, two new Food Banks were established in the Municipalities of French River and St. Charles. In the Sudbury East area alone, there has been in increase of 151% due to the new food banks being established in those areas.

Food Banks Number of people served
Manitoulin Family Resources 3,969
Espanola Helping Hand Food Bank 1,897
Massey Food Bank 1,235
St. Mark's Parish, Markstay Food Bank 844
St. Bonaventure Catholic Women's League, Killarney 590
Chapleau Pentecostal Church, Meals of Hope 433
Municipality of French River (opened in June) 344
Municipality of St. Charles (opened in October) 140
Foleyet Food Bank 116

The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB has used Social Services Relief Funds to support and expand the food banks across the entire DSB catchment area in 2020. Unfortunately, these were one-time funds for the fiscal year 2020-21. The DSB Community Homelessness Initiative Prevention 100% provincial funding increased from $619,268 in fiscal 2019-20 to $766,183 in fiscal 2020-21. The DSB has received its allocation for the fiscal year 2021-22 and it remains at $766,183. The DSB has not received any confirmation of funding beyond the 2021-22 fiscal year.


Staff are recommending that the additional $147,000 in funding be used to support Food Banks for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The DSB will need to re-assess this once the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing provides funding allocations for 2022-23 and beyond. In the past the Ministry has provided 3 years funding allocations, so we are expecting an announcement for 2022-23 to 2024-25 sometime this year.

It is clearly evident that there is a great need for food banks to help the most vulnerable population during these trying times.