Community Love: Local Non-profits Leading the Charge

February 8, 2021

Love has many definitions. It encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states and concern for the good of another. That concern for the good of our communities and our Owners is the essence of who we are at Libro. As a certified B Corporation, we use all our resources to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario, investing 100% of profits into the people, businesses, and communities we serve.

We have the privilege to partner with local non-profit organizations who share our commitment to the good of our communities and play a key role in helping address some of the most challenging issues facing the region, such as Employment, Financial Resilience, Local Food Accessibility and Housing. These issues are the pillars Libro focuses on to deliver our promise to grow prosperity. We are excited to share five new partnerships we formed at the end of last year. We look forward to the long-term positive impacts they will bring to our local communities.

Mobile Market, a project of Prosperity Roundtable

The Mobile Market helps the community connect with and learn more about local produce through a weekly market. Currently, the Mobile Market travels to 12 communities across Chatham-Kent, making fresh vegetables and fruits accessible and affordable. All produce is sourced from local farmers and sold by donation. With Libro’s support, the mobile market will expand its operations for another year, reaching communities that do not have local grocery stores or food emergency resources nearby, helping increase food literacy and sharing skill development activities.

Urban Roots London, Growing Food Security

Urban Roots London is a non-profit organization that revitalizes underused land in the City of London for agriculture by producing and distributing high-quality produce. As part of URL’s model of thirds, no more than 33% of its production is sold at full price, 33% is sold at affordable rates, and no less than 33% is donated to community partners. Support from Libro Credit Union will help Urban Roots make upgrades to their farm to expand their growing season and increase production of high-quality, sustainably grown produce from 9,000 lb in year one to 20,000 in year four, thus benefiting more members of the London community.

Seeding Innovation in Food Entrepreneurship

Libro has joined the efforts to support food & beverage production start-ups and entrepreneurs in the region through a full spectrum of mentoring activities to support their success. The Small Business Centre and the London Economic Development Corporation have been delivering programs on starting and scaling up food businesses for the past four years. Now, with support from Libro, these programs will be offered across the region, in partnership with regional Small Business Centres.

Exploring Huron County’s Food Landscape, Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health

Gateway is a grassroots, community-driven, not-for-profit organization which aims to improve the health status and quality of life of rural residents by actively conducting research on rural health determinants, disease prevention, and knowledge translation. Libro is supporting a research project that will help bring awareness towards local food in Huron County, including the diversity of local food and how to increase access to local food for all residents. Results of the study will lead to concrete and measurable solutions on how to close food accessibility gaps and will provide a template for other like-minded organizations in other regions to complete similar studies.

Show the Way Home for Seniors, Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW)

SHOW is focused on providing a continuum of support for those facing barriers to housing stability, including those with long histories of persistent homelessness, mental health and addictions challenges. SHOW knows affordable housing for seniors is essential in our community and has purchased an apartment unit to secure 26 much-needed affordable housing units for seniors throughout Kitchener Waterloo. Libro’s contribution will be used to help fund essential upgrades to the building to ensure the health, safety, and accessibility for the tenants.

Graphic depicting employment, financial resilience, local food accessibility & housing

Libro is providing over $348,000 of funding for these local initiatives. Sharing our expertise, resources, and local love with our communities is core to our business. We know when our communities succeed, we all succeed.

By Liz Arkinstall

Liz is a passionate sustainability professional focused on helping businesses adopt a purpose beyond profit approach. Liz is the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Libro Credit Union.