Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

Non-profit community groups in Kindersley and area are now able to apply for an annual grant through the Field of Opportunities (FOO) charity harvest group.

Each year a group of local businesses contributes to growing crops on a 100-acre parcel of land north of businesses along 12th Ave. West in Kindersley. The FOO grant program is in its fourth year and grant officials are now accepting applications from non-profit groups.

Brenda Burton of G3 Canada, a spokesperson for the FOO committee, said the group has extended the deadline for applications this year due to people being busy from a late harvest. The deadline is Dec. 20 for groups to apply for the grant.

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The deadline has been Dec. 1 in other years. Burton said the applications would be adjudicated in January and the grants would be awarded at that time. The grant is open to non-profit arts, culture and recreation groups that engage young people, so groups with a youth component are favoured for the grant.

“The purpose of this is for youth – activities or resources that youth would benefit from,” the spokesperson said, recognizing that the program criteria for applicants has not changed from the previous three years.

Applications are available on the Town of Kindersley’s website, and also from Burton or Bill Morin at Moody’s Equipment. Burton said it might take time to find the applications on the town’s website, so people could contact the town office if they are having trouble finding the information.

She noted that the criteria for the grant is also available on the town’s website. The FOO committee likes to partner with non-profit organizations that have done their own fundraising and are not solely dependent on the grant, she said.

The six recipients of funds from last year’s harvest were the Kindersley Aquatic Centre project, NRC Management Inc., Dodsland Community Park project, Community Organization of Plenty, Kindersley Kobra Football Parents and Kindersley Minor Ball.

Crops are dependent on the weather conditions and Burton said the FOO group has benefitted from decent crops in the past two growing seasons. The crops in the first two years were not nearly as successful, and a lentil crop in the second year was completely washed out.

The FOO group grew wheat in its first year and the crop was hampered by poor conditions, but a total of $10,000 was split between a pair of recipients. There were no recipients in the second year, but there were six recipients after last year’s canola crop.

Burton said a durum wheat crop was grown this year and the group was pleased with the result. The durum crop experienced drought conditions through the growing season, but the harvest yielded nearly 40 bushels per acre.

She noted that most of the inputs are donated, so a 40-bushel crop means the FOO committee has funding for successful grant applicants. Contributors to the FOO group include G3 Canada, Moody’s Equipment, Millsap Fuel Distributors Ltd., and Insight Sign & Decal Co. There are other contributors from year to year.