In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.

Featured this Week:

Gravenhurst Against Poverty (“G.A.P.”), Gravenhurst

“G.A.P. is an inclusive, open, and transparent grassroots organization, with the goal of reducing poverty within the greater Gravenhurst community.”

For this week’s MBW Shout Out, we are turning our attention to an amazing, volunteer-driven organization in Gravenhurst known as Gravenhurst Against Poverty, or “G.A.P.”. First assembled in 2017 by a group of concerned citizens, G.A.P. was formed in response to an increasing concern for those facing poverty within Gravenhurst and those who lacked access to food or food security. They began organizing food programs, rallying like-minded community partners and building their volunteer base in an effort to meet the needs of the community and do their part in reducing some of the barriers and challenges that those in need were facing. They raised both awareness and community support through several wonderful initiatives such as the Coldest Night of the Year, Sunset Salsa at the Muskoka Wharf, presence at the local Farmers’ Market, community gardens, food drives and more.

Then came COVID-19 and G.A.P. was forced to adapt on the fly as to continue to meet the needs of those most vulnerable. Originally, those in need were invited to partake in a community meal together at the Trinity United Church in Gravenhurst once per week – where they could also pick up fresh produce, harvest from the community gardens and grocery cards. However, with the arrival of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, G.A.P. understood that they could not continue to gather at the church together. Feeling a great weight of responsibility to continue their programming and offering their supports, G.A.P. quickly adapted to offer a food & meal delivery program. In the first week, they delivered to 15 households. That number has now grown to 135+ households; with G.A.P. bringing meals, produce and grocery cards to over 340+ recipients.

In speaking with G.A.P., they said it simply wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiasm and incredible support from the local community. From the local businesses who are donating food, products and other various resources, to the fleet of volunteers assisting with all levels of the initiative, to the Red Cross, the District of Muskoka and many, many others. It takes a strong, connected, resilient network of people to bring all of this together and G.A.P. is still hungry to do more.

Looking to the future, G.A.P. is passionate about the potential of bringing a Gravenhurst Wellness Centre to reality, as well as working with the District to address immediate needs surrounding transportation.

First and foremost, we want to thank Gravenhurst Against Poverty and all of the amazing people connected to this organization. Bringing people together and helping to give back is an incredible thing, let alone to be continuing on through these challenging times. It is a true inspiration to us and we are grateful for all you’re doing. We will continue to follow G.A.P. on their journey and hope you will consider getting involved as well. Many hands make light work.

You can learn more and get involved by following G.A.P. on Facebook.

If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.

#StayComfy #StayCozy #MuskokaBearWear