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Woolwich to cut cheques for market vendors relief fund in partnership with KWCF

When the donations pouring into St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market relief fund start making their way to the vendors, Woolwich will be cutting the cheques. The township has signed on to a fiscal sponsor agreement with the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation, which is collecting donations.

Councillors meeting Monday night agreed to the arrangement, a request from the KWCF.

Some $750,000 is needed to cover uninsured losses suffered by vendors when the market’s main building burnt to the ground on Labour Day, Rosemary Smith, the non-profit group’s CEO, said in a presentation to council.

Since that time, many groups and individuals have been quick to help, eager to see the market back up and running as usual, she added.

David Brenneman, the township’s chief administrative officer, said the foundation needed to partner with the township to disperse the funds when the time comes. Terms of reference for distributing relief money have been established, with donations being collected until the end of the year.

After that time, the group will look at distributing relief to vendors, covering what was not insured.

“It was discovered that insurance coverage for the vendors is widely varied. Many have very good coverage and have indicated that they don’t need additional assistance. Others either did not have insurance or were not fully covered,” said Brenneman in a written report to council. “For some of the smaller vendors, particularly those selling handcrafted projects and baked goods, their inventory was so low that insurance simply wasn’t in place. The collective efforts of the local committee and the KWCF are now focused on helping the vendors get back on their feet as quickly as possible, and all donations made will go directly to support these vendors.”

The formal agreement with KWCF allows the township to hand out the funds.

“In essence, the township serves simply as the organization that issues the cheques to the recipients once we have received proper written direction from the KWCF,” said Brenneman.

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