Community grant applications open

30/04/2021 3:35pm
Kai Rescue volunteers pack food boxes for distribution. Photo: Amy Matheson
Kai Rescue volunteers pack food boxes for distribution. Photo: Amy Matheson

Nelson’s non-profit community groups can now apply for a grant to support their work for up to three years from Nelson City Council’s Community Investment Fund.

This year, the fund has $240,000 available for three-year strategic grants to support non-profit community organisations to deliver programmes and activities with a social development focus and that contribute to Council’s community outcomes. Grants of up to $30,000 a year for three years are available.

Organisations applying for the grants must have a focus on supporting and empowering our community, and in particular prioritises projects that address:

-    social isolation or loneliness
-    reducing housing vulnerability and addressing social issues for those at risk of homelessness or those living in          substandard housing
-    Improving access to work and learning opportunities, in particular those adversely affected by COVID-19, and 
-    reducing the impact of poverty, which can amplify other social issues.

Kai Rescue, a food rescue and redistribution programme operated by the Nelson Environment Centre, was among the organisations to successfully receive funding in the last round of strategic grants in 2018/19.

Kai Rescue Funding Co-ordinator Lily Hirsch said surplus food is collected each weekday morning, then sorted and distributed to charities throughout the region. Kai Rescue is assisted by more than 35 volunteers and donates food to more than 60 charities.

“Grants like the one we received from the Community Investment Fund help us continue to feed thousands of people and save tonnes of food from being dumped every year. Since its launch in 2017, Kai Rescue has saved more than 500 tonnes of food from being dumped. Every week we supply enough food for 7000 meals, feeding between 2000 and 3000 local people.”

Victory Community Centre was another organisation to receive a strategic grant. The centre put it toward a new Community Navigator position, which aids Nelson’s former refugee and migrant community through education and advocacy and building their knowledge and confidence.

Victory Community Centre Manager Jenni Bancroft said without the Community Investment Fund Grant; the role wouldn’t exist.

“It is incredibly valuable to have these grants to ensure we have this valued role in our community. The grant covers not only the Navigator salary but also things like the use of interpreter services. The use of interpreters offers more than just the chance to be heard; it gives recent migrants a real opportunity to learn our systems and build their knowledge and resilience.”

Council Community and Recreation Committee Chair Tim Skinner said Nelson’s not-for-profit organisations helped build the strength of our community by looking after some of our most vulnerable.

“The Community Investment fund is there to support these organisations to carry on the great work they do for so many in our community. Community wellbeing is so important, and to do that we must look after everyone in our community, and we want to help those who are doing this as much as we can.”

Applications are open from now until 31 May. All applications will be assessed by the Community Investment Fund panel and grants will be paid from August 2022.

For further information, or to apply for the fund, see