RELEASE: Sign of the times
April 11, 2023 – Port Colborne Ten days into its spring 50 50 online and in-person lottery, Port Cares’ popular Spring Ka-Ching!’ fundraiser is feeling the pinch. Ten days into the 30-day lottery period, Port Cares’ fundraiser is running significantly behind in its sales.”
“For many the impact of food inflation coupled with increasing costs to run a household has cut into discretionary spending and people have less to spend. We’re not surprised that the up-take for ticket purchases is down from previous lotteries,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares
Costs of food and non-alcoholic beverages in Canada rose by 9.7 percent annually in February of 2023, remaining at a high level but easing from the 42-year high of 10.4 percent in January. “With the extreme level of food inflation right now every dollar counts when managing a household budget.”
Yet at the same time the agency is experiencing unprecedented levels of need at its Reach Out Centre Food Bank which is assisting one out of eight local residents in Port Colborne and one in every ten residents in Wainfleet. “Every day our food bank is open for food distribution we are registering people and families who have never, ever before in their lives have had to turn to a charity food bank to get through tough times. Working families and low-income seniors are increasingly turning to our charity to put food on their table,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.
To help families and people in need in South Niagara, Port Cares is running four 50-50 lotteries over the next 12 months with a target of raising $100,000 to assist those living in poverty. “Our 50-50 lottery was a life line during the pandemic as we do not receive government funding to help the poor. Looking back a year ago, we never thought that the situation would be so dire post pandemic. Most disturbing is that we are seeing no signs that the economic and housing situation will soon improve. We need to rely on donations and our 50 50 lottery now more than ever before. We truly hope that if people have the capacity to purchase a ticket or make a donation they do so.”
Clark Lafleur adds that tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day until April 30th at 1:59 p.m. online at www.portcares5050.ca or in-person Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Port Cares main office at 92 Charlotte street in Port Colborne. Anyone in Ontario 18+ can purchase at three different price points:
• 5 tickets for $10;
• 20 tickets for $20; or
• 100 tickets for $40.
An early bird draw will take place at 2:00pm on April 14th, to win a gift valued at $250. The lucky Early Bird winner will also be eligible to win. The draw for the ‘Spring Ka-Ching’ takes place at 2:00pm on April 30th.
Weather-permitting, the agency will get outside to sell tickets in their parking lot on market days in April. Those dates will be April 14th, 21st, and 28th. Folks can use cash outside or debit / credit inside the main Port Cares entrance at 92 Charlotte Street, Port Colborne.
The biggest draw winner so far took home almost $43,000. A total of $259,405 has been won in Port Cares’ draws which began in the summer of 2020.
Last year 1,700 people were registered to receive assistance through the food bank – that was up by more than 400 people at the beginning of the pandemic. Now the number of local residents has jumped exponentially to 2,670 – of which more than 34 per cent are children living in low income households