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United Way Greater Toronto Distributing $15.6 Million From Federal Emergency Community Support Fund To Support Vulnerable Residents Across The GTA During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The ECSF funding will help community agencies meet rising needs in Peel, Toronto, and York amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis

August 4, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations in Canada – including right here in the GTA, where recent health data shows certain groups and neighbourhoods have been more adversely affected by COVID-19. The Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) provides financial support to charities and non-profit organizations adapting their frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19. 

United Way Greater Toronto is pleased to support this vital investment by the Government of Canada in critical services that people need now more than ever in our community. Through this agreement, United Way Greater Toronto is distributing $15.6 million to community services in Peel, Toronto, and York. 

Since launching a call for applications for the ECSF on May 19, United Way Greater Toronto has received nearly 500 applications for community programs and services that support vulnerable community members. To date, over 350 organizations have been approved for projects serving people impacted by poverty; those needing mental-health supports; those with disabilities; Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities; and equity-seeking groups.

For a full list of organizations and projects receiving ECSF funding through United Way Greater Toronto, please visit our website here.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, United Way’s vital network of community agencies has been working tirelessly to provide emergency support of all kinds – from food delivery to mental-health supports to the critical work of connecting people with the resources they need – to individuals and communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability as demand for services has increased. 

United Way acted quickly with our partners at the outset of the pandemic to coordinate services and ensure there were no gaps in essential services or emergency needs unmet. United Way offered funded agencies flexibility with United Way dollars so they could quickly adapt and continue to provide services, and supported nearly 200 local rapid response programs through $2 million in emergency funding from the Local Love Fund.

The ECSF is funded by the Government of Canada and is being administered in collaboration with United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new challenges for Canadians and the community organizations that support them in times of need. The Government of Canada is pleased to work with its trusted partners to ensure that the charities and non-profit organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic can continue to serve the vulnerable members of our communities.

Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

United Way Greater Toronto is proud to partner with the federal government to connect investments with impactful programs making a difference in our local communities. In administering the GTA allotment of the ECSF, we received an overwhelming response from the social services sector – expanding our vital network in the process, as 61 percent of the organizations receiving ECSF dollars were not previously funded by United Way. By getting this much-needed funding out to the people and places that need it the most, we are working hand-in-hand with community to ensure those who have been most impacted by this crisis continue to have the support they need, close to home.

United Way Greater Toronto President & CEO Daniele Zanotti

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